So unique! I've never in all the years buying and selling antique Swiss Black Forest carved goods seen an oil lamp base, but I feel certain that is what this mid-1800s carving was. The opening up top has a rim about 5/8" deep and 2 1/4" in diameter. Works for a candle or for a glass globe (we'll sent the one pictured out with this item, though it is not original to it). Yes, it is possible it had a fitted and wheel-engraved glass tray or bowl originally, and we have seen those. But what a fun piece for your collection. It's 9" tall and 9" x 8" widest at base, very sturdy.
Very good to excellent condition throughout. I can locate a tip of a wing chipped on one, and a chip to the side of wing on another of the birds, And it appears one tail has been broken and reattached, a clean line visible upon close inspection - but with all the carving, it's actually a bit difficult to find the flaws. Slender legs are all intact, the anatomical studies show this carver to have been a true Animalier movement sculptor of great skill. Imagine carving such a thing form a chunk of wood!
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