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Posted 5 years ago


(675 items)

Found the nutcracker or 'casse-noisette' in my favourite haunt a few weeks ago and put it aside for Le Quatorze Juillet – the French teacher in me wanted to celebrate the French Republic in a light-hearted way: a caricature of 'Charlot', le colonel Motors, le grand Charles .....
Woodcrafters for centuries have carved decorative nutcrackers designed to bring humor with their whimsical looks and expressions. Satirical, political cartoons!

This one is a portrait of Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle (22 November 1890 – 9 November 1970). It is made of olive wood, he has glass eyes and Perspex visor on his képi. His képi has just two metal stars!

I have seen a couple of these on the net. I’ve seen two sailors and Uncle Sam too! These comical characters are given the difficult task of “cracking hard nuts” in their jaws. Perhaps it was made in Japan, perhaps in France.
Some details:
That cap – the képi! The képi is a cap most commonly associated with French military and police uniforms (cf Alemannic Kaeppi: a diminutive form of Kappe, meaning "cap").

The two stars: de Gaulle loved wearing this symbol of a mere "provisional brigadier general". He wore it at critical political moments and the French found it funny to see a two-star general commanding authority over five-star generals.

De Gaulle or Gaulle? In WWII the Fascist Vichy called the general “Gaulle”. They were scornful of a two-star general who pretended to be the incarnation of France in London. They took away the apparently aristocratic particle "de" (see French names) to belittle de Gaulle.

Gaulle is also homophonic with the French word "gaule", the long pole that is used to harvest walnuts. This French word can also be understood in slang as meaning "dumb". This pun gives even more meaning to the nut cracker.

If you go to that link you will find a whole list of names used by the French to refer to Charles de Gaulle.: le colonel Motors, Gaulle, le grand Charles, mon grand, la grande Zohra, Viper, Charlot, Big Moustache, le Connétable, la grande asperge & Cyrano.

It’s an interesting read.


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Thanks Sean. Bonne Fête de 14 juillet!
  2. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    Fabulous item, FABULOUS copy! Many thanks!
  3. inky inky, 5 years ago
    Love it...:-)
  4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Many thanks inky and miKKo too!
  5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Many thanks scandinAmie!
  6. AmberRose AmberRose, 5 years ago
    Happy 14th to our French friends!

    Allons enfants de la patriot...

    Okay my iPad is making the French impossible.
  7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Bonsoir, Amber!
    You spoke French.
    I feel like Pepe le Pew!
    "Do not come wiz me to ze Casbah - we shall make beautiful musicks togezzer right here on "Say Double Vay"!
  8. AmberRose AmberRose, 5 years ago
    Yes I speak poor, unpracticed French. I wish I has studied Spanish as everyone is Chicago speaks it. I have picked a up a fair bit though.
    My favorite French expression...
    C'est la vie, c'est la guerre!
  9. AmberRose AmberRose, 5 years ago
    Posted a bunch of things that I believe you will enjoy. Particularly my curio cabinet.
  10. musikchoo musikchoo, 5 years ago
    Thats Great :-)
  11. Budek Budek, 5 years ago
    C'est merveilleux!

    Amber, I know a crumb of French from school, a larger crumb from French classical songs, but the quote that occurs to me most often
    " Apres moi le deluge "
    ciao amici!
  12. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Thanks Amber, budek, musikchoo and seanbellin2!
  13. Londonloetzlearner Londonloetzlearner, 5 years ago
    Vive la France.
  14. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Calling London! It's Sydney Calling!
    Je vous remercie, quoi!
  15. mikielikesigns2 mikielikesigns2, 5 years ago
  16. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Many thanks Mikie!
  17. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Many thanks CollectiblesUnlimited!
  18. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Many thanks Amanda!
  19. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
    very very fun piece here Kev:)
  20. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks SEAN!
  21. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
    Your very welcome Kevin:)!!
  22. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks trunkman and AmberRose too! Hope the weather has been good down South!
  23. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks TOM!
  24. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    Many thanks for the loves TOM31675!
  25. kerry10456 kerry10456, 4 years ago
    I thought I'd seen another LOL, great piece
  26. vetraio50 vetraio50, 4 years ago
    I love the Uncle Sam one too!
  27. SEAN68 SEAN68, 4 years ago
    so do I ....

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