Dated Nutcracker


Material: Brass
Dimensions: Length: 10.7cm / 4 ¼in
Place of Origin: England
Date: Dated 1700
Maker or Retailer: W. Copham
Present Location: Private collection


This small brass nutcracker was intended to be carried in the pocket.  It is a rare example of a brass nutcracker marked with both a date and what appears to be the maker’s name. It is also believed to be the earliest recorded example of a dated brass nutcracker.


The nutcracker is cast in two parts, the same mould being used for both, and then hand-finished with files to refine the barley-sugar twist detail on the handles and the decoration on the head.  The name W. COPHAM is stamped on one side of the head and the initials ED, together with the date 1700, are stamped in larger letters on both sides.  W. Copham was almost certainly the maker and ED the owner.  It seems likely that the maker’s name was stamped at the time of manufacture and the owner’s initials and the date added later.

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