These wonderful hand carved little Black Forest chalet boxes were popular as Grand Tour souvenirs, Switzerland's amazing legacy of carver's artisanship evident in even these simpler items. The chalet you see here would date c.1890-1930s, most likely. While it's carved in the earlier popular manner we see in the 1850-70s carvings, this one seems to me to have been done a bit later. It is in fine form and is complete with the old working lock and original key. The woodland setting its carved within makes it a wonderful Gnome house or Holiday decorative item you'll enjoy, but it's original purpose was to be used as a jewelry box or perhaps even a box for tobacco. The box is good sized at 9.5" long, 6" in depth and 5.5" high when closed.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. I've taken care to do a nice cleaning and light wood wax for our little cabin's next owner. I find that there are almost no flaws at all to point out, save one that really disappears on the underside of that front roofline - a small carved log I've tried to bring your attention to with a couple of "xx" marks to show where it would have been. It would be the extention of a roof beam, and you can see the others along that line to see what the missing one would have looked like. You'll never notice it's not there. The massive detail in the carved surface of wood and bark and fauna and flora is a thrill to see. I think the interior might have been re-lined in felt. You take a look. It's a perfect souvenir for your own Grand Tour, perhaps. I was recently again in Switzerland, home of my paternal grandmother's family (she was born there, immigrated as an infant with her hard working family), and I promise you I still wonder why any of the family could ever have torn themselves away. What a stunningly beautiful Country it truly is. Part of why we're so drawn to the fine arts of Black Forest carved treasures, no doubt. Imagine creating those works of art!
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If you've followed us for a while you know I'm a big fan of the old hand carved "Black Forest" items that come to us from 19th century Switzerland, Germany, parts of France and Italy, where they pleased the Grand Tour tourists and still please us all today. These hand carved treasures range from whimsical small bears to large and elaborate mantel clocks, wall clocks, wall plaques showing the most awesome anatomical studies of stag, fowl, "fruits of the hunt". I've got more to list so look through the vast collection. I've just used quite a few piece in our own 2nd home decoration , Rocky Mountains location, and love the look as well as the heritage since my own ancestors hail from that region and others. The pieces work well in Country Manor, French Country, Ski Lodge or Hunt Lodge and even in a den or office. Everything from a pocket watch case to huge plaques - from needle and thread holders to cigar caddy - these decorative objects survive today a testament to the artisan's craft of carving wood.
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Antique French sterling silver, Georgian jewelry, sewing, Black Forest, etc 17th to 19th c. European
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