This is a fine item of French Military Folk Art, called "La Quille" (The Keel), from the WWII Period.
It is hand carved and decorated with the original polychrome paint...the size is approx. 16" tall, and stands upright with a post on a base that is contemporary. It is in excellent condition.
According to the various inscriptions and names, the owner was in Cherbourg, Aubours, and Tazmalt (Algeria) during the War.
It is not known exactly when this Folk Art form took a symbolic meaning "The Day of the Keel"....the Day the Conscripts return to Civilian Life, with the right to not be referred by their Military Clothing !!
One Slogan in the writings says: "But we Came Back Crazy" !!! How True of any War.....