Delicately carved smaller plaque, perhaps the inset of a door for a smoker's cabinet, or perhaps it is the apprentice 'maitrise' or test for a carver working his way to "Master". Yes, similar to the cabinet makers' apprentice furnishing, scaled down in size so that they seem almost to be doll furniture, but they're one of a kind miniatures made to show the skill advancement and design quality of an apprentice. That is what this one reminds me of most. The quality of the motif and the carving is exceptional - finer than most large cabinetry. It begs to just sit atop a side table on an easel and be appreciated for the fine art it truly is. Full measurements noted on the photos.
Very good to excellent condition throughout, it seems not to have ever been mounted into a frame or furniture piece, which is part of why I think it is an apprentice's work. I find no chips, no cracks and no hairlines or shrinkage to the wood. Very Renaissance, and I would date it mid-1800s. Surely an apprentice who went on to be a Master carver and cabinetry maker. Found in France. It might be French, could be Italian.