Named Nutcracker

Material: Brass
Dimensions: Length: 11cm / 4 ¼in
Place of Origin: England
Date: Early 18th century
Maker or Retailer: Unknown
Present Location: Private collection


This dainty little brass nutcracker was intended to be carried in the pocket.  It is engraved with the name EDITH ATTWOOD, presumably its owner, and was probably made circa 1710 -1720.  A nutcracker of similar design is engraved with the date 1716.  Named nutcrackers from any period are relatively rare and the engraving may indicate a precious possession, a gift, or even a precaution against theft.


The nutcracker is cast in two parts and the handles have acorn finials.  Gentle & Feild illustrate a late 18th century brass-founder’s pattern book showing similar models, so the design evidently remained popular over a long period.



  • Rupert Gentle & Rachael Feild, Domestic Metalwork 1640-1820, 2nd edition revised by Belinda Gentle, 1994, Antique Collectors’ Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, ISBN1851491872, p. 288, Fig. 4A

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