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Antique Hand Carved Black Forest Inkwell, Pen Tray, Birds with Nest of Baby Birds, Glass Eyes
Here is a nice-sized late 1800s hand carved Black Forest desk item, both pen tray and inkwell set that is both good-sized and totally charming. You'll immediately see the 2 adult birds so beautifully posed and in balance to the large glass inkwell, but it takes a moment to notice that they guard a nest of 3 baby birds. See them? All the birds have glass eyes, and are lifelike and wonderful. Great attention to anatomy that makes them so lifelike. The one disappointment is that the beaks on the birds have been blunted. I wondered a bit if they're a bird breed with snubbed beaks because even the baby birds' beaks seem short. But it is possible it represents an old chip or damage to the tips of the beaks. I think anyone adept at carving could vastly improve those beaks without too much trouble, but we'll leave it to the discretion of the next owner and will just price it well, instead. A nice pen tray and inkwell stand that will work well in your French Country or English Manor home as well as cabin or ski lodge decor. Beautiful old wood, carved from a single piece and beautifully designed.
Good to very good condition, with glass eyes on all of the birds (babies included) and fine knowledge of anatomy of the birds to make them lifelike. But we have blunted beaks, as you can see - either the breed or a chip, I'm not positive which. Seems like they can be carved a bit more beak-like without much trouble if you're extra-handy with a pocket knife. There are a couple of petals chips on that lid to the inkwell, also, which is usually the piece that's entirely missing on these old ones, so we'll just be happy it's still with the big mouth-blown inkwell. Great display piece for pen collectors, too, with the pen tray.
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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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