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Nutcrackers have been made in unusual shapes since at least the 13th century. Wooden, brass, silver, iron, ivory, ceramic, or plastic nutcrackers shaped like birds, bugs, men, angels, screws, pliers, and even naked women are pictured in a new hardcover book. The Art & Character of Nutcrackers by Arlene Wagner (Collectors Press, PO Box 230986, Portland, OR 97281, 800-423-1848, $60, c2005, 192 pages) is an oversized book with large color photographs, descriptions, and dates of more than 1,000 nutcrackers from the collection of 5,000 in the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum in Leavenworth, Washington. There are also photos of nut bowls, picks, servers, openers, and carved nuts. The book is a "must" for those who are nutty about kitchen, tabletop, or nutcracker collectibles.

 


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