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Remarkable Antique Black Forest Carved Birds Match Stand, Spill Vase, L@@K
A captivating realistic hand carved forest vignette that includes a pair of masterfully carved sparrows or small birds, open wings and energetic poses, each feather and anatomical detail bringing life from the stillness of a solid wood slap - at the hands of a Swiss carver, 19th century artisanry we refer to as Black Forest. The piece you see here is probably one used as a match stand or perhaps a spill vase/holder for a fireplace. Spills are rolled paper lengths tightly rolled and used to extend one's reach and the length of flame in starting a fire in a fireplace. Whichever it was originally, it survives to show us the talent of these 19th century sculptors who with carvers' tools could bring such life out of the dead wood. Isn't it marvelous! The carved slab is mounted on a finished plinth, as would a bronze sculpture, and finishes it off nicely.
Very good to excellent condition, entirely carved from wood, the birds are so lifelike, even the beak is open in the flurry of feathers of a pair of birds perhaps in a mating dance. I was so taken with this work of art, it took me a while to notice that there is a smallish chip on the tail of the one bird, and a few old evidence holes that tells us there was once a few wood worms (nothing active; long since treated). So it's not perfect. But is perfectly fabulous. Whether you use it for matches or what, the display of it will enthrall all who see it. Measurements noted on the photos.
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San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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