Erzgebirge means Ore Mountains, the region of Germany located in the east of Germany in the state of Saxonia, which has ore deposits of tin and silver. Some of the cities of that mountain region are Seiffen,Olbernhau,and Marienberg. These toys were made here by skilled woodworkers and in the 1800's imported to the USA from Germany by New York City toy stores by the thousands. They were very popular toward the end of the century,especially in Amana. These early pieces are very delicate and fragile. They are painted, primitive, simple, elegant, rare and collectible. Many I have are in pieces, or missing a piece. Some of these toys were enjoyed only on Sundays as Noah's Ark which was brought out to teach the children about the Bible story of Noah, the Ark, and the great flood.They are still made today. A great folk art to be appreciated by many generations for a long time.