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Heavily Carved Black Forest Style Walnut Desk Box
This dresser or desk box is a wonderful example of high relief wood carving done in the style of Black Forest items. The carving was done by a master carver. The piece measures 12 inches long by 8 inches wide and stands 3.5 inches tall. The constructions consists of dadoed and nailed corners with the bottom nailed on as well. The hinges on the lid are iron and might be hand made. There is a leaf and vine design that runs around the outside of the top of the lid and is echoed along the sides. In the center of the lid there is a marvelous berry and leaf design that is unique because of its extreme depth. Much of that carving is about 3/8 inches deep! There is also some carving on the inside of the lid. This carving mirrors the leaf and berry pattern on the outside but also has a heraldic shield in the middle. There is no finish applied to this carving inside the lid so that its look is consistent with the rest of the inside of the box. The nailed corners have been skillfully plugged with wood giving the appearance of being joined with wooden nails. One of the wooden plugs has worked loose revealing the nail hidden underneath. There might be a dark stain on the wood, but it is hard to tell for sure because of the naturally dark color of the wood. There is a surface coat of wax that has protected the box well over the years. The condition is very good. There are a couple of places where the high relief leaves have chipped losing some wood, but this might have happened when the box was being made. Those areas have the same look and patina of the rest of the box and are hard to detect. There is one very subtle inch long crack in the lid that is still tight. Some very minor warping of the base has opened up a small crack between the bottom and the back side. Also on the back side there is a spot where one of the brads used to attach the bottom has actually split out so that it is visible. Overall, the condition of the piece is better than would be expected for an item of this age. The masculine nature of this box would make it a great gift for the special man in your life, although it would also look good in just about any location where a nice box seems to be appropriate.
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