“The Nutcracker, not the ballet”
See an amazing array of nutcrackers, both old and new, in a colorful case exhibit at Sully Historic Site now through January 8, 2018 . This special holiday exhibit is included in a guided tour of the 1794 house.
Did you ever wonder where the craze for collecting nutcracker dolls came from? Nutcrackers have a fascinating history. The first nutcrackers were produced to crack nuts more effectively and the oldest known metal example, on exhibit in Tarent, Italy, is from the third or fourth century B.C. The Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, Washington, shows a bronze Roman nutcracker dated between 200 B.C and 200 A.D. German nutcrackers, made as decorative pieces, were developed around 1500. Early nutcrackers were in the shapes of animals, birds and people. Later, they were made in the likeness of kings, soldiers, church leaders and ruling class figures. Fine wood carved nutcrackers were created across Europe, especially in France and England by the 15th and 16th centuries.
Nutcracker collectibles can be found in many parts of the world today with a huge variety of themes and images, mostly exhibited around Christmas time. The German nutcracker became widely popular in the US in the 1950s. This was due partially to American soldiers stationed in Germany, who brought nutcrackers back as gifts. Russian composer Tchaikovsky wrote the music for the Nutcracker ballet in 1892. The ballet features the immensely lovable nutcracker prince as the champion of young Clara in this iconic story.
Sully, the home of Richard Bland Lee, northern Virginia’s first congressman, will be decorated for the holiday season through December 28, 2018, including the Christmas tree trimmed according to the memories of an 1885 visitor.
Sully Historic Site is located at 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly, VA. Please call 703-437-1794 for more information or visit online at Sully Historic Site