Evolution of the Beloved Nutcracker

Giant Nutcracker

The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale….”
Vera Nazarian

Primitive nutcrackers were nothing like the nutcrackers that we know of today. To understand the significance of the nutcracker, we need to go back in time to a point when malevolent spirits held a place in everyday life. In these early times, typically referred to medieval times, nutcrackers were used to ward off spirits, bring luck and crack nuts.

The Nutcracker as an Everyday Tool
Typically, nutcrackers were of simpler but creative design. During medieval times, the nutcracker was an everyday tool. And nuts were a staple in everyday life. Medieval nutcrackers were whittled from wood and were skillfully designed by the whittler.

Some nutcrackers appeared with human or elfish heads, animals and other objects. But typically, the nutcracker had two handles which clasped together, and at the end was a cracking mechanism. The nutcracker was more geared toward function but also had ornate design. Nutcrackers weren’t considered decoration in these times, but simply a tool. Once, harder metals were introduced, nutcrackers were also ornately fashioned from metal, but were not as affordable to the lower classes.

The Nutcracker Doll
In the late 17th century the nutcracker was transformed into a doll, by German craftsman. Although, it was doll sized and was given as a gift and used as a toy, the nutcracker still functioned as a nutcracker. It was during this time that the nutcracker became associated with Christmas. It was also, in this time that the dolls began to be used as household decorations and the nutcracker took on a whimsical toy solider appearance with bright colors and embellishments.

In 1892, a ballet was created based off a Prussian novel about a nutcracker prince and a mouse king which was titled “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.” In the ballet, The Nutcracker, the nutcracker was dressed as a Prussian prince adorned with a fancy cap and elaborate suit. Prior to the novel and ballet, nutcrackers weren’t typically associated to royalty.

nutcracker ballet

The ballet debuted in December, because part of the ballet is focused on Christmas morning. In both the novel and ballet, the Nutcracker Prince, in toy form, is given to the children to play with as a gift to them all. In the novel and ballet, the Nutcracker Prince, came to life at night, as a life-sized prince who battled the Mouse King. It is possible that once the ballet became more accepted, that the concept of life size nutcrackers, became a part of the holiday season.

In the 19th century, the nutcracker solider became a popular Christmas decoration and gift, and its popularity spread across Europe. As the demand for the nutcracker solider grew, the doll began being mass produced. And this solidified the nutcracker solider as the symbol we know it as today.

life size nutcracker

It wasn’t until the 40s and 50s in the US, that The Nutcracker ballet made its debut on the west and east coasts. The debut in 1944 was on Christmas Eve in San Francisco, and then 10 years later in New York City, in 1954 also on Christmas Eve. These ballets solidified the nutcrackers’ association to Christmas and the holidays in the US. As well as furthering the concept of larger nutcrackers. The costumes evolved from a Russian influence to an English influence as the ballet was adapted from country to country. And the Nutcracker Prince became a giant nutcracker on stage with alterations made to his costume of a nutcracker head, and real sword.

life size nutcracker

The Life-Sized Nutcrackers of Today

The nutcracker has evolved from a household tool essential to daily life into a fiberglass outdoor nutcracker statue adorning the entry ways of the White House in Washington D.C. It is amazing that a simply crafted tool designed centuries ago, withstood the test of time, and is now recognized all over the world as “The Nutcracker.”

Perhaps a prince was trapped inside of a nutcracker, and it is of that magic which nutcrackers came to be part of households across the world during the Christmas season. Or perhaps the magic of Christmas itself cast a spell on the simple nutcracker giving him a new life filled with whimsy for all eternity.

out door nutcracker

Announcing Dog-Statues.com by Christmas Night Inc.

Christmas Night is proud to introduce our new website, www.dog-statues.com. Just as Christmas Night is your ultimate source for outdoor Christmas decorations , dog-statues.com will try to be your ultimate source for all kinds of statues of your family pet, working companion or animal best friend.

Our dog statues represent the very best versions of dog figures made of resin, fine stone , ceramic, structured plush, metal and plush. These dog figures are skillfully, carved, constructed or assembled and colored in factories and workshops in the US, Italy and the Philippines.

Some of our dog statues are made to order and shipped in 4 to 6 weeks from our US factories. Many statues are carried in stock in our and our suppliers warehouse for immediate shipment by Fed EX Ground or LTL truck.

Poodle Statues
Proud, elegant and a bit of a show-off the Poodle is traditionally one of the most fashionable dog breeds. What Poodle owners know is that this ancient breed is also loyal, sensitive and intelligent.

Corgi Statues
The Corgi’s distinctive markings and perky ears, identify a sturdy, alert, athletic dog .which also shows dependability and loyalty to its owner as well as kindness to both man and dog.

Scottish Terrier Statues
Did you know that the Scottish Terrier is only one of two breeds that have lived in the White House more than three times? Our Presidents must have been taken by the Scotties charming, jaunty intelligence as well as respecting the Scotties’ self reliance and willfulness .

Great Dane Statues
The Great Dane, despite appearances , is truly a gentle giant with more than a touch of elegance. They are also, friendly, mid mannered and loyal to their person.

Dachshund Statues
The Dachshund’s build is one of the most distinctive among popular breeds.
Encased in that body, is a dog that is clever, amusing and curious. They are superior but affectionate and lively but suspicious A wonderful combination for the dog person.

Cocker Spaniel Statues
The ideal family dog, the Cocker Spaniel has a gentle, sweet and happy personality. They love people and show it with a seemingly constantly wagging tail.

Labrador Retriever Statues
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the US.
They achieved this popularity by having a personality that is ideal for growing families with small children. These dogs are playful and bouncy but kind, gentle and patient. They are dependable and loving as well as cheerful.