The decorative nutcracker has been a popular German novelty piece for over 200 years now. According to the late great Herr Steinbach of Steinbach GmbH, “A nutcracker is a symbolic figure, one that gives happiness and protects your family.” Oktoberfesthaus firmly believes this to be true and we think every family should have at least one nutcracker to bring your household joy.  That’s why we’ve stocked up ouronline nutcracker store with over 170 nutcrackers, including the entire 2013 Steinbach nutcracker collection. This is a very unique collection, featuring special limited edition nutcrackers hand-designed by Karla Steinbach.

 But when it comes to purchasing a nutcracker worth holding onto, it’s not as simple as you would expect. There are a few variables you need to be aware of. Oktoberfesthaus would like to help you with the nutcracker buying process by spreading our knowledge on how to purchase a quality nutcracker worth the investment.

What’s the Best Brand of Collectible Nutcracker?

The easy answer to that question is Steinbach. For about 200 years, the Steinbach Family of Artisans has been the industry standard for the finest nutcrackers. This is a family-owned company and every president has been a Steinbach since the organization’s birth.  The company has two locations in Germany: Lower Saxony and in the Erzgebirge (Ore) Mountains (where the Steinbach nutcrackers originated due to the easy access to high-quality timber). Oktoberfesthaus is a proud supporter of Steinbach nutcrackers, as we have an entire shop specifically for Steinbach nutcrackers with over 120 different models to choose from! What Theme Will Your Collection Have? If you’re starting a nutcracker collection, you should first figure out the theme that binds your nutcrackers together. Do you want your nutcrackers to be of a certain age? Wearing specific décor? To be from a certain country or manufacturer? Do you just want them to look cool? Whatever you find most valuable in the nutcracker, decide upon it beforehand and then start doing research based on that common strand. If you need some ideas, the Oktoberfesthaus nutcracker store has several differently decorated nutcrackers that are sure to fit any theme you decide on.

Image Courtesy of Nosha on Flickr

Why Are Collectible Nutcrackers More Expensive?

Just like any collectible item, the nutcracker’s value is decided by its brand, material, rarity, and craftsmanship. Additionally, the making of a quality nutcracker is not something that can be done overnight. According to Herr Steinbach, making one nutcracker can involve up to 130 different procedures and take up to 4 years to complete. This is because each nutcracker from a company like Steinbach goes through rigorous cutting, shaping, hand turning, lathing, polishing, drilling, spraying, priming, carving, painting, and decorating amongst other processes. It’s a surprisingly long operation to make a great nutcracker.

Why Are You Purchasing Your Nutcracker?

Although their primary function is to crack nuts, you may not want to give an antique nutcracker that much action. Now, a wooden nutcracker is definitely built tough. However, if you’re looking to preserve the design and current presentation of the nutcracker, you may want to keep them in a safe display area and delegate all nut-cracking responsibilities to a modern handheld tool.

Does the Value of Nutcrackers Increase with Age?

To put it simply: Yes. If you own a nutcracker from a premiere manufacturer like Steinbach, then there were only so many versions of that particular nutcracker created in the first place. As time goes on, more yearly collections will be produced and the nutcracker you have will become more rare and more difficult to obtain.

 The German decorative nutcracker has become an iconic staple for the holiday season as well as the German culture. Oktoberfesthaus previously published an interesting article covering the history of nutcrackers and their 2,000-year journey evolving into today’s soldier form. So now that you’re in the “know” of nutcracker collecting, take a browse through our online store and find the nutcracker that’s just right for you!

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8 comments

Leland Walker

Leland Walker

Found the information most helpful,.

Richard Call

Richard Call

Do you purchase old 17 inch Steinbach Nutcrackers from 1985 to 1993?

Linda dubbe

Linda dubbe

How can I determan the value of my nutcracker dolls?

David crepeault

David crepeault

I have two 3 foot handmade nut crackers from Germany. how can I find out what they are worth?

Debra Daigle

Debra Daigle

My mother was an avid Nutcracker collector. She has approximatelt 50 nutcrackers of various sizes that we would like to sell in order to pay for her care. These nutcrackers have been in a curio cabinet and are still in there. If there is anyone interested in buying them I would indeed love to hear from you. Thank you!

natalie schmalzried

natalie schmalzried

schmalzried2.1@juno.com. Just bought my first nut cracker, the reason I bought him, I fell in love with him the first time I seen him, so I’m trying to find out a little history on him! When can I go to find out about him? Thank you!

Casey

Casey

My grandmother has 52 Steinbach Nutcrackers (majority 18 inch but some 10.5 inch). As she is thinking about downsizing she considering selling them. I am her grandson and she has enlisted me to help her. I have searched the internet to find some type of pricing guide but I can’t find anything that lists estimations of value. Do you have any advise on how to value this type of collection?

Bertha

Bertha

Do you sell your nutcrackers in the Washington, DC area in the United States?

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