1965T2096 Nutcracker, 1600-1800 Pinto Collection - Purchased from Edward H Pinto, 1965. This English, carved boxwood nutcracker probably dates from the late 17th century or beginning of the 18th century. Screw thread nutcrackers were a novelty at that time, and as the process of cutting the screw thread was a difficult and precise operation, such novelties were no doubt regarded as luxury items. Nutcrackers came in a variety of shapes and sizes. They were used for cracking wild hazelnuts and walnuts which were much smaller than the cultivated varieties we usually eat today.