Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington


March 2016 Nutcracker Museum Newsletter

Nutcracker Designers From The United States....

We have very talented people from the US who designed nutcrackers for workshops in Germany. Susan Rosas created characters for Alexander Taron and Sons, and the creative team of Kurt Adler have designed many of the Christian Steinbach nutcrackers. Elizabeth Merck from Spokane, Washington produced many characters for the KWO workshops in the Erzgebirge from 1993 through 2000. Her designs, as E M Merck, were distributed through Old World Christmas
Many characters commonly used for a nutcracker are more interesting with the artwork of Elizabeth Merck. Note the thermos bottle with the Duck hunter, the original Erzgebirge toys on the Toy Seller, and the colorful clothing on the skier.
More unusual designs from Merck are the attorney with umbrella, race car driver, beekeeper, pharmacist, Viking, King Henry VIII, and a nurse ready to deliver a flowering plant to cheer a patient.
One of the most popular groupings, of course, are the Santas. These were made in various sizes, and were exquisitely decorated. Limited editions were produced with a companion character such as a snowman, reindeer, penguin, or angel.
Although the chubby designs are the most popular, more traditional shapes were created, and in different sizes. Since we are near two ski resorts, the skiers are extremely popular, and of course the little girls are excited to see the Fairies in their pink costumes!

Probably the E M Merck designs receiving the most comments are the bridal couples.  Even the ring is ready!!!  Many brides choose Leavenworth as their special day and sometimes whole wedding parties come to the museum to see these nutcrackers.

You are fortunate if you have one or more KWO nutcrackers designed by E M Merck in your collection. They show quality craftsmanship, exceptional attention to detail, and each piece was signed by the artist. Each one will be a cherished heirloom!!!

Arlene Wagner, The Nutcracker Lady

Phone: 509-548-4573


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Federal ID #91-2143303

A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization


Contact Us

735 Front Street
P.O. Box 2212
Leavenworth, WA 98826

(509) 548-4573

Open 7 Days a Week
1:00PM - 5:00PM

Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:

"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut"

Museum Admission:

Adults  - $5.00  (Ages 17 - 64yrs)
Seniors - $3.50  (Age 65yrs +)
Youth   - $2.00  (Ages 6 - 16yrs)
Child    - FREE   (Ages 0 - 5yrs)
Military & Families - FREE