Erzgebirgische Volkskunst

December 2021

Scroll down if you're just here for the images. There are 4 altogether.

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BeforeThis 14 1/2-inch Erzgebirgische Volkskunst Guard nutcracker was missing one arm. Its other arm was off the body. Its plastic feet were off. Its mustache and rifle were also missing. Its helmet was off and it had some paint loss. Of all the nutcrackers on this site, this one required the most work.

It was purchased with another damaged nutcracker in the same auction with some assorted parts from other nutcrackers, some familiar and some not.

This specimen varies slightly from others of the same model. I believe it's an earlier, pre-reunification, version. This one has a simple rubber-stamped ♣ "clubs" symbol containing the initials "VGU" under the base and states; "Made in West Germany", without referencing the Erzgebirge. It's not known to me whether the company was calling itself Erzgebirgische Volkskunst when this nutcracker was made. The clubs motif is still retained in their current logo but the initials have changed on some examples.

PartsIt's puzzling that the arms were simply glued to the body without dowels. Gluing a painted surface to another is doomed to fail regardless of the type of glue used. The original glue appeared to be something like thick flexible contact cement. This had deteriorated and become gunky and ineffective. The same adhesive had been used to attach the original missing rifle and mustache parts.

I turned a replacement arm in one piece. This was not like the original which was two pieces. It had a separate hand piece glued to the arm.

I drilled the arms, rifle and body to use dowels to attach them. In this case, a restoration of the original attachment method would be destined for the same failure.

The rifle was copied from images of the more recent versions of this model and may not represent what this version originally had.

The wood mustache was made according to the only images I found of a similar vintage specimen which was also missing its rifle. The original mustache was close or identical to more recent nutcrackers by this maker.

Subsequent runs of this model included changes like; wood feet, a natural-finished base, simplified arms and slightly different painted details.

Image 1 of 4 Front.

Image 2 of 4 Side.

Image 3 of 4 Back.

Image 4 of 4 Base Markings.

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