The making of wooden boxes has a long tradition in the Tatra Mountain region of Poland, near the border of Slovakia. Handmade of Linden wood, the boxes are decorated entirely by hand using various combinations of carving, brass and copper inlays, burning, and staining. Some are “puzzle” boxes, with hidden locking mechanisms.
The Weihnachtspyramide (Christmas pyramid) has its roots in the Erzgebirge of Germany. The forerunner of the pyramid was the Lichtergestelle (light stand), which was popular in the 18th century. These light stands were constructed of four poles, decorated with evergreen boughs, tied together at the top and lit with candles. In large cities, the Christmas tree gradually replaced the Lichtergestelle, but in the mountains, the spinning propellers were added.
Many of the pyramids available at Europa are handcrafted by Richard Glaesser in Seiffen, Germany, which has been in operation since 1932. Mr. Glaesser paid particular attention that his figures have a friendly appearance and be of the highest quality. Figures from the Christmas story, fairy tales, as well as miners and angels from the mining traditions of the Erzgebirge are used on Christmas pyramids and candle holders.
Russian nesting dolls, also called matryoshka, are a collectible art form dating back more than 100 years. The first Russian nesting dolls were carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin and contained 8 pieces.
Nesting dolls are made from a single block of wood, leaving very little waste. The dolls are then hand pointed and nested inside one another. The figures separate in half to reveal smaller and smaller dolls inside.
In a traditional set of nesting dolls, each doll looks almost identical, but modern versions tend to have more of a unifying theme (such as animals) with each doll a different component to that theme. Matryoshka have become one of the most enduring symbols of Russian culture.
The pewter tradition dates back to the 9th century in the heart of Bavaria’s romantic countryside, where two important trade routes joined, spurring the cultural development of the region. Pewter amulets, ornaments, religious pictures, and jewelry became popular.
Wilhelm Schweizer has carried on the tradition, handcasting and handpainting pewter since 1796, first as toys for children. Each item is cast individually from a mold carefully engraved in a slab of slate, and then each piece is painted by hand.
Located in the same region south of Augsburg, Kuehn has been handcrafting pewter ornaments since 1960. Kuehn ornaments are also handcast and handpainted.
Do you have Scottish, Irish, or Welsh heritage? Celebrate it with a tartan accessory from Europa! According to Scots History Online http://www.scotshistoryonline.co.uk/tartan-history.html, the earliest Scottish tartans date back to at least the 3rd century AD.
We have a great selection of ties, scarves, and golf hats in stock, and we can also order all kinds of things in your tartan, from throw blankets and tablecloths to wedding garters and kirkin’ banners!
Europa is pleased to offer handcrafted and handpainted German beer steins , including this one by King-Werk. According to King-Werk, Germany established a number of laws in the 1500s in efforts to create more sanitary conditions in response to several fly infestations as well as concerns about a possible return of the Black Death. One such law required that all beverage containers be covered to protect their contents. Thus, the “steinkrug” was created with a lid, hinge, and thumblift combined.
Another of the laws was that beer could be brewed only from hops, cereals, yeast, and water, resulting in better beer, still enjoyed today! Thank you, Germany! Prost!