This rather scary looking figure is a Raucherfrau, meaning ‘Smoking Woman’. This uniquely German concept is actually an incense burner, although the idea comes off a bit better when the figure is a man with a pipe. In English they are known as ‘smokers’. I’ve been able to find four interpretations of bobbinlace maker Raucherfraus, and am writing this piece primarily because I finally built up the nerve to actually try one out. This involved buying a box of incense cones (they come in many different scents), disassembling the figure, placing the cone and lighting it, and reassembling the figure. All the while trying hard not to burn down the house. The smoke lasted about ten minutes.
The German lacemaker figures are overwhelmingly made of wood, and I will be doing several posts on them. Raucherfigurs are fairly steep in price, generally over $100.