Treasures from the German Erzgebirge
Dregeno offers mostly to retail gift businesses a huge selection of Christmas
ornaments, collectibles, meticulously crafted toys, sensible gifts of all
seasons and limited editions. Nearly 4,000 different articles including
nutcrackers, incense burning folklore figures, pyramids, angels, music boxes,
schwib bows, miniatures, trees and a large selection of small toys.
The Erzgebirge region is located in the eastern part of Germany not far from
Dresden at the Czech border. It was about 400 years ago when silver mining
subsided in that region, and the silver miners turned to toy-making in order
to make a living. Over the centuries they developed extraordinary wood
carving skills that were inherited from generation to generation. Such items
as the nutcracker and the incense burning folklore figures, well known in the
US, were created in the Erzgebirge in the last century and became famous all
over Europe. The German Poet E.T.A. Hoffman wrote a fairy tale about the
nutcracker, and the Russian composer Tschaikowsky built a musical monument for
the nutcracker by composing the Nutcracker Suite.
Today the products of the Erzgebirge consist of thousands of different items
that bring joy, playfullness, and collector's desire to people around the
More than 150 mostly family enterprises from the village of Seiffen (birth
place of the nutcracker), and surroundings have formed a cooperative "Dregeno
Seiffen e.G.." Since most of the families specialize in different wood
carvings Dregeno delights collectors, children, or just gift givers alike with
nearly 4,000 different items. Dregeno makes available those wood carvings to
retailers all over the United States and has a base of operations in Houston,
Texas. Dregeno has the largest selection of originally made Nutcrackers
available together with the largest selection of pyramids, schwib bows, music
boxes, and more than 500 different incense burners (smokers), and thousands of
other wood-carved collectibles.
The nutcracker in its present appearance has been created by the House of
Fuechtner in Seiffen in 1870. Significantly, the original nutcrackers have
distinguished features the way the eyes and nose have been carved, and the
artisans painted phantasyfully their wonderful uniforms. Original Seiffen
nutcrackers never were dressed up. More and more US collectors recognize the
value of the art of painting the nutcracker or it's pure wood work in its
Did you know that the Erzgebirge artisans over the centuries portrayed their
wives as angels in their wood carvings?
The schwib bow, one of the distinguished designs of the artisans that comes in
many varieties, represents the mine mouth that the former silver miners show
decorated so artfully.
Did you know that since the sixteen-hundreds the products of the Erzgebirge
found their way throughout Europe from the cities of Leipzig and Prague? The
village of Seiffen was located close to the so-called "salt street", a trade
route that brought salt from the Halle/Leipzig region to Prague. Using this
rout the toy-makers from the Erzgebirge mostly sent their products to Leipzig,
a trading place for European goods for more than a thousand years.
Michael Ritter is Dregeno's general manager in the US. Dregeno has been
present regularly at gift shows in New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Orlando,
Dallas, and will be attending other shows. For Dregeno products contact
retail stores in your neighborhood that carry German Christmas items, gifts,
collectibles, miniatures, and wooden toys or contact Michael Ritter.
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