Old English Cottage

Old English Cottage

Jul 16


While I collect and restore antique nutcrackers, I also make my own pieces that I sell on occasion.


Recently I carved an Old English Cottage nutcracker to take to the 2016 Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention.


This is a highly detailed piece that I carved out of Walnut just for fun. It’s about 4 inches square and stands about 9 inches tall.


I used Pyrography to add some of the very fine details (door hinges) and accentuate  the smaller carvings (window tracery). This also gave the piece  a camp fire aroma which was an added bonus!




Front of the cottage showing the details accentuated using Pyrography



Right side of the cottage showing the chimney details



Back showing the screw knob and roof details



Left side showing the window tracery details



Bottom showing the screw nutcracking mechanism


This was a very fun piece to do and I am very proud to report this piece was bought by the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum at the convention.


Stay tuned for more great pieces i took to the convention.


—– Brandon

Recent Acquisitions

Recent Acquisitions

Jul 09


In this business I get to work on some really great pieces for Nutcracker Collectors’ Club members and other clients.


One of the things that fuels my passion to rescue and restore damaged pieces for people is that I’m also a collector. I understand each piece’s value and the historical significance to fixing it right.


Compared to most, I don’t have many pieces; but the pieces I do have are good ones I bought reasonably and restored for myself, or are ones I really liked and/or admired the carving or style.


I bought two pieces at the 2016 Nutcracker Collectors’ Convention. They both are pieces that caught my eye and I really liked them.


What’s most important is, I don’t have to fix them. Just wax them and set them out for display.




Cat Nutcracker with “VITZNAU” carved into the handle




Nice old Boxwood screw type nutcracker


I’m very happy with my new acquisitions.


Coming soon — The original pieces I took to sell at the convention (spoiler alert! – The ones I didn’t sell are currently for sale on Ardoria).


—– Brandon


2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 2

2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 2

Jul 02


As promised, here are some pictures of the second day at the 22nd Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention.


The meeting and auction were held at the Holiday Inn Express in Lexington Virginia.


A club member from Lithuania presented the history of Josiah Pratt (1767)  brass nutcrackers and other notable makers (Edward Grouttage (1770), William Ward (1770), Rob Moor (1770), and Richard Eades (1770)) .





 A few collectors brought pieces from their collection in for display



A collector from Connecticut’s pieces on display




A collector from Ohio’s recent additions to her collection


  Others brought in some great pieces to sell



Nutcrackers for sale


 The Silent Auction was in full swing and had a lot of great pieces available to bid on. Here are just a few of the tables










 CBS (WDBJ-7) came by and did a lot of filming and interviews. The news story can be found here – Nutcracker Collectors Gather in Lexington



Nutcracker collector interview – CBS (WDBJ-7)


 After the convention, everyone had a little free time to wander before meeting for dinner. We went antiquing a little, then downtown to a couple galleries.


downtown 2

Downtown Lexington Virginia




Window display downtown advertising the convention


 Everyone gathered at the Southern Inn for a great dinner and to say goodbye to fellow collectors and great friends til next year.





 Missy and I had a great time. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed getting to see everyone.


We can’t thank Lynn and Ann enough for doing such a fabulous job hosting this year’s convention.


 Stay tuned for pictures of the pieces I took to the convention to sell and pictures of the pieces I bought.


2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 1

2016 Nutcracker Convention – Day 1

Jun 27


This year marks the 22nd annual Nutcracker Collectors’ Club Convention which was held in Lexington Virginia.


First off, I have to say Lynn and Ann did a great job putting this year’s event together. I can’t imagine the time and work that goes into this. They really did a fantastic job!


Here are some pictures from the first day of the convention. This is where the Nutcracker Club members get to visit the hosting member’s home and see their personal collection first hand.


Lynn and Ann provided local beer and wine, delicious home cooked food, local fried chicken, and decadent deserts to die for.  All this was provided as we toured their home, viewed their beautifully displayed collection, and visited with members and friends we haven’t seen for a while.


Everything was beautifully displayed. Their home and their collection are absolutely spectacular!


Click on the pictures for a larger view.


Arriving at the convention host’s house



Their stairwell lined with nutcrackers and the local paper covering their collection and listing the convention


The fireplace mantel


Display case full of metal nutcrackers



Display case full of wooden nutcrackers



Close up #1 of the wooden nutcrackers



Close up #2 of the wooden nutcrackers



Close up #3 of the wooden nutcrackers



Close up #4 of the wooden nutcrackers



Very rare cane nutcrackers on display


counter 1

Nutcrackers displayed on the bar


counter 3

Nutcrackers displayed on top of the bar



More nutcrackers displayed on top of the bar



At the end of the evening (and the convention), everyone was given a travel mug commemorating the event.


 Stay tuned for Day 2 to see the great pieces members brought to show off and/or sell.

More importantly, stay tuned to see what great items I came home with!


An Old Anri Dog

An Old Anri Dog

May 28


Here is a another older Anri that came in for repair from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.


As you can see in the pictures below, this piece had a lot of damage around the mouth and a badly broken handle.








Here are a few pictures of the piece after all the repairs:








I was real pleased with how this piece came out.


Well, that is all the Anris from the lot of 9 that the museum sent in for repairs.


They were all sent back and should be on display at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum for many visitors to enjoy.


Groden Update

Groden Update

May 21



If you remember, I fixed a Groden a few months back (http://www.brandonetto.com/?p=2712).


I only had to do the repairs, the customer’s wife was going to paint it once they got it back.


The piece is done, and they were kind enough to send me photos of it painted.


All I have to say is – Wow! She did a fantastic job!


Here is a quick reminder of how the Groden looked when it left my shop:





Here’s a picture they sent of the Groden painted. She really did an awesome job on this!





—– Brandon

Anri – Rolling Eye Woman

Anri – Rolling Eye Woman

May 13


Here is a another very rare Rolling Eye Anri that came in for repair from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum.


As you can see in the pictures below, this piece had a previous repair on the handle and bit of damage around the mouth and bonnet.







I was able to separate the old repair performed on the handle, re-join the pieces, and blend them to make the repair seamless.





Here are more pictures after the restoration showing the mouth and bonnet repairs.







Here are a couple pictures showing why these are called “Rolling Eye” Anris. The eyes roll and change color when the lever is moved.







—– Brandon

Too Eager

Too Eager

Apr 30


Yep, sometimes I get too eager to work on a piece and forget to get before photos. this is one of those instances.


This piece came in from one of the Nutcracker Collectors Club members with a lot of cracks and checks throughout. Some actually went completely through the piece.


Here are some photos of the piece after it was repaired. All the cracks and checks have been stabilized, filled, and blended to match the rest of the piece. Lots of work, but it’s worth it.








This piece had a carving of some sorts on the top that had broken off. The customer wanted the remnants of it removed and blended with the rest of the top’s texture.




This was a great piece with a ton of detail and was a lot of fun to work on.


The customer was very happy with how well it came out.