Herr Drosselmeier

Real Name


First Appearance

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (1816)

Created by

E. T. A. Hoffman


Drosselmeyer is the mysterious magician-like figure in Tchaikovsky's ballet The Nutcracker. Called affectionately "Uncle Drosselmeyer", he is the godfather of Clara Stahlbaum, the heroine of the ballet (or Marie, as she is called in the original story). It is never explained in the ballet where he comes from or why Drosselmeyer has magical powers, but one of them, apparently, is the ability to bring toys to life. He sets the entire plot of The Nutcracker in motion by giving Clara the toy on Christmas Eve. Clara is especially fond of him (though their relationship is not borderline romantic, as some who see the ballet believe).

In E.T.A. Hoffmann's 1816 story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, on which the 1892 Tchaikovsky ballet is based, the reason for Drosselmeier's involvement is made clear. He was once Official Ratcatcher for the King and Queen, and set mousetraps for the Mouse Queen and her children. This led to a series of incidents involving the surviving Mouse King which culminated in Drosselmeyer's nephew being turned into the Nutcracker by a magic spell.

Public Domain Appearances


  • The Nutcracker and the Mouse King
  • The Tale of the Nutcracker


  • The Nutcracker


  • In the original story, the character is the grandfather of Marie, Fritz, and Louise, rather than God Father and also changes the spelling of his name from an "i" to a "y" for reasons unknown.

See Also

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