A Golden Ambassador of Christmas: The Nuremberg “Rauschgoldengel”
Formal, folded, with arms tucked away, the shining “Rauschgoldengel” is the most traditional ambassador of Christmas in Nuremberg. Invented here, the angel is a symbol of the Christkindlesmarkt and can be found in all sizes at the stands offering Christmas tree decorations. The largest gold-foil angel of all hangs high above the southern entrance of the Christmas Market to welcome guests.
A touching legend claims that the “Rauschgoldengel” was first made by a Nuremberg doll maker during the Thirty Years’ War. As his daughter lay dying of fever, he heard the flutter of angel’s wings and was inspired to create an angel in her memory. The true origin of the gold-foil angel goes back to the 16th century. It is probably the Christkind, which at that time began to appear to give gifts to children, that is the model for the angel. The paper-thin brass foil used – called “Rauschgold” – gave the figure its name.
During the Thirty Years’ War, when people were searching for beauty amid destruction, gold-foil angels were mass produced. The form of the angel today – no longer made of metal, but of paper – is based on the traditional 18th century costume of the local Franconian farmers.
Other reports from Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt