This wonderful hand carved Black Forest mantel clock depicts four birds at varying levels on branches and leaves. It dates to around the 1880's, which puts it right in the period when Black Forest carvings were gaining popularity in Europe.
The popularity of black forest carvings was driven by both a strong tourist industry and the crafts movement. The "Black Forest" style describes wooden sculptures or carved replicas of nature's bounty, incorporated into the design of household items. Antique Black Forest handicrafts exemplify Swiss folk art traditions and are seen in carved clock cases, hall trees, desks, picture frames, chairs and all variety of decorative objects and furnishings. The black forest style is the accomplished carving and trained whittling of realistic tree branches, twigs, bears, birds, deer, rabbits, edelweiss flowers and such. The popular notion that the Black Forest style has its roots in the the Bavarian Black Forest, in Germany, is likely mistaken. It was Breinz Switzerland that was the home to some of the first Black Forest carvers in the 1850s.
The carvings on this clock surround a round, enameled clock face with blue and white Roman numerals, 1-12. The clock works are stamped Japy Freres, a famous French clock manufacturing company on the back plate, inside the back door. The case was made by a Black Forest ebenist and the carving is meticulously detailed. The clock works well, however, all clocks need balancing by a clock repair person once they are in place. There is one key with the clock.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor losses to some motifs some of the Roman numerals are cracked and loose.
H=22, W=15 1/2, D=8 1/4
Antique Carved Black Forest Mantel Clock, Circa 1885