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Erzgebirge: (n) “ehr-zguh-bir-guh” origin: German – a small and traditional mountain region in Germany; known for mining and wood craft, particularly nutcrackers, toys, Christmas pyramids, and music boxes.

What’s with the history lesson, you ask? And what is a Christmas pyramid?


Erzgebirge (6)I was hunting for treasures at a thrift store and stopped in my tracks when I saw a man spinning the fan. I waited to be sure he wasn’t interested, then snatched it up. This, dear readers, is erzgebirge.

Erzgebirge (2)You’ll note that these lovely little people have a very specific, modern look. And everything is made out of the same light wood, with some accent pieces painted or stained. This clean and simple look is common to all erzgebirge.

Erzgebirge (4)I just love those little sheep! (Yes, one’s missing – but I’m not going to mess with the pyramid’s integrity. Plus, it’s kind of endearing to have a lost sheep!)

Erzgebirge (3)Looking at these figures up close makes me appreciate the artist even more. Each person, hat, tree, and sheep was carefully carved and placed. Note that the beards aren’t painted or attached to the face, they’re another small piece of wood that’s placed under the chin. Erzgebirge has a lot of humor!

Erzgebirge (5)You’ll note that the label says “German Democratic Republic”, meaning that this piece was created between 1949-1990 – I’d venture to say this piece is from the mid- to late-1950s.