Product Information - German Christmas Smoker Woodworker - grey
This German Incense Smoker is a product of Müller Kleinkunst Seiffen/Germany. Typical for Müller Kleinkunst are the many wonderful details and the big belly. Let this funny guy enter your home.
General Inforamtion on Müller incense smoking men:
Men started smoking pipes in the Erzgebirge Mountains when the fashion came over from England at the beginning of the 19th century. This way of smoking was soon seen in the manufacture of wooden figurines, too. The first smoking men were made in the village of Heidelberg near Seiffen around 1850. A toy-maker by the name of Ferdinand Frohs launched a large variety of them together with his nephew Gotthelf Friedrich Haustein. They took the idea from figurines made of paper, which had been known to a place called Sonneberg in southern Thuringia for some twenty or thirty years. Up to about 1920, the smoking figurines showed arms, legs, and partially even faces of a kind of dough which featured a blend of whitewash, bone glue, saw dust or rye flour, and sugar loaf paper made into little pieces and cooked in soda water. The figurine components were moulded and took up to four days to dry. Only then they could be further used. Haustein‘s son, his daughter in- law and his granddaughter continuing on their ancestor‘s way, the tradition died after nearly 100 years in 1948. However, other manufacturers had come up. Their smoking men showed simple shapes. Contrary to the grim-looking nutcrackers, the design of smoking men referred to well-known and well-liked village people such as the chimneysweep, the postman, the miner, the forest-worker, and a range of characters coming over from Bohemia: the brush-maker, the pedlar, and the craftsman on the road. It takes skilful wood-turning to make the trades easily visible in just a few characteristic features. Clothes are often depicted as uniforms and show but little decoration. One thing, of course, is common with all of the variants: the open mouth with the pipe. The first non-Erzgebirge character to be depicted was the Turk, who the manufacturers were familiar with in the context of the Christmas story and Christmas cribs. Novel designs have been known since the sixties of the 20th century. Inspired by them as well as by state-of-the-art technical facilities and the run for new markets, first prototypes of smoking men made by Müller were created in the nineties.