Monday, December 5, 2011

LITTLE WOODEN WORKS OF ART

History was always my favorite subject in school. I even majored in it in college but had to also major in magazine journalism since I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find a job in the history field. So whenever I get the change to delve into the history of a particular object, I gladly do it. I recently researched the history of German smokers—charming handcrafted wooden figurines made in the Erzgebirge region—for my P.E.O group, which meets tomorrow night. I'll be giving a program on them. Here are a few fellows (and one lady) from my collection that I'll be sharing during my program.


The holiday season is a fitting time to talk about these little guys since they're often associated with that time of year, especially in Germany where they are traditionally made. Many German households place these little figurines in every room of their homes to chase away any evil spirits that might reside there. They're called smokers because their interiors hold an incense cone. When lit, a swirl of smoke escapes their little round mouths. 


Do any of you have one of these delightful little figures? I'm wondering how commonly they are collected here in the U.S. I keep mine out year-round because they add a lot of character to my surroundings. They are just one of my many collectibles!

10 comments:

  1. How fun are those! Very cute!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would love to collect the genuine smokers but unfortunately they are out of my price range :( I do have an authentic nutcracker that I bought in Rudesheim when my family traveled to Germany 30 years ago. My parents are in Germany now visiting all the Kristkindlemarkts - I am hoping for a sweet souvenir from their trip!
    Smiles, DianeM :)
    basketblessed@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have never heard of them before, they are so cute. Very interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those are incredibly cute! Didn't know about these. Thanks for the lesson!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've never seen these before - they are adorable! I know what you mean about loving history :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to put my hand up to owning one of these guys! I was in Germany for nine months and collected loads of wooden miniatures from the Erzgebirge while I was there! They are very expensive now!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Their little mouths make them look like they have been surprised! I only have a few nutcrackers, but nothing as exquisite as these smokers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was stationed in Berlin in the early 80's and bought several of these for my Dad (he liked pine incense.) Recently my Mom went into a nursing home and she returned them to me...I have a nightwatchman, a santa, and a gardener. I also leave them out all year long!

    ReplyDelete
  9. How charming! I have not heard of these before, but as a fellow history lover I think you may be sending me down a new rabbit trail!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your wool flower ornaments they are very pretty. I have a good collection of the smokers I bought while living in Germany along with many other Christmas symbols used during the Christmas season in Germany. I love them they are very unique. Hugs Judy

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from blog readers. Due to the amount of spam I receive, comment moderation has been enabled. SPAMMERS TAKE NOTE: Your comments will NOT be automatically published!