We are offering a very unusual piece of wood carving done in the style of Black Forest items or Bavarian/Tyrolean pieces. The piece is signed Zakopanego, or Zakopane, and was probably a tourist souvenir item at one it. Zakopanego is a mountainous region in southern Poland that is widely known for it winter sports, mountain climbing, and hiking. That is right in keeping with the Alpine theme of the piece. It is a desk accessory that has an inkwell, pen rest, and a cup that could be used to hold cigarettes or desk supplies. It is a tour de force of the wood carving art. Thematically it consists of a ladies wide-brimmed hat, a shoulder bag, tobacco pipe, and a tree stump. The top of the hat lifts up revealing an inkwell. The original glass inkwell insert is still present in unbroken condition with minor chips around the rim. The details of the carving on the piece are outstanding including a delicate hat band, decorative details including strapping on the shoulder bag, and a wonderful Tyrolean style pipe. On the front base it is carved with the word Zakopanego. We have not been able to locate a carver’s signature anywhere on the piece.
Any problems with warping, shrinkage, or splitting of the wood have been minimized because it is carved from quartersawn walnut known for its stability. The total length is 13 1/4 inches long, by 6 ½ inches wide, and about 7 inches tall. The wood is in its original color and is protected with a layer of varnish. The lid to the inkwell retains the original brass hinge screwed in place. The glass inkwell insert is original as judged by the very good custom fit into the carving. The condition of the piece is excellent. There are the usual minor insect holes associated with a piece of this age along with minor dings and abrasions. The large carved tree stump was made from two blocks of wood that were face joined to provide the dimensions required for the work. The joint line is slightly visible at some spots. Beyond those little issues, the condition is about as good as one could hope for. It is difficult to date the piece, but is most likely from the second half of the 19th century.
Because it is large and made from solid wood, it is extremely heavy. It has great appeal and would be a wonderful addition to any collection of wood carvings, desk accessories, inkwells, or even Polish souvenirs. The fact that it is not truly a Black Forest piece is of little consequence as it would fit nicely into such a collection. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to obtain an item as wonderful as this and however you choose to display it you will continue to marvel at it for year to come. You can buy from Sweetpea Cottage with confidence. We stand behind everything that we sell. If you wish to return your purchase for any reason, simply notify us within 3 days of receiving your item that you intend to return it. After we receive it within 6 days in original condition, then we will refund the purchase price of the item minus shipping charges.