Pelznickel (Nicholas in Furs):
19th C. Middle American Colonies
This stern German character, also identified as 'Ru Klaas' (Rough Nicholas), 'Belsnickel' and 'Aschenklas' (Nicholas in Ashes), dressed in dark or shaggy clothing or all in furs or skins, was a secular replacement for St. Nicholas in Germany after the Protestant Reformation; a time when honouring saints was supposed to be banned.
16" (40.5 cm) - $225
The dour character, was introduced to the Middle American colonies by 19th. century German immigrants. Until late in the century, he would visit German households in Baltimore and Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve, carrying a bundle of switches for naughty children and treats for good ones. Even the good children were afraid that they might not have been good enough! Sometimes he accompanied St. Nicholas or Christhindl who were much more lenient. He was sometimes associated with 'Knecht Ruprecht'.
28" (71 cm) - $445 (by order only)