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Antique Hand Carved Black Forest Sewing Spool for Thread - Figural, a Lady
Those who follow our business know I'm captivated by the amazing old carvings that were produced in the 1800s, and which fall into the heading "Black Forest" for their origins at the hands of the artisans of that region of Europe - some Swiss, some German, a bit of French and Italian in the mix, perhaps, but all related to the Alps they share in common. This is one of the more fascinating types of carvings - a small portrait or figural carving of a woman standing atop a plinth that is, in fact, a thread spool. Yes, imagine this in your sewing collection, or set with a few others (we have several just now - ask to see them) and with thread in place. Amazing detail in a carving that is just 5.25" tall, spool included. We've enlarged her tremendously so you can see how charming she is, but imagine doing a carving of this quality today - would cost a mint, wouldn't it. She is complete but for one forearm, which has been lost to the ages.
Very good condition, a nod to the missing forearm that keeps her from being excellent. There would also, from evidenced spot on her back, have been a small carved thimble-like backpack which these sometimes had, and into which a padded rounded cushion was made for use as a pin and needle cushion. Since those were carved of a separate piece of wood and then glued to the figures, they often are lost to the ages, and that is the case here. But the rest of the carving is truly fabulous and shows the astounding skill of the carver. Look at the detail to the spool, her skirt and bodice, her face and hair. Very charming, indeed!
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Susan Dean, San Marcos, CA
Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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