Of all the antique animals and figures, the rarest among them are the Gnomes, dogs, and cows/bulls. And among dogs or hounds, the rarest is the St. Bernard. And of the St. Bernard figures, the rarest is the rescue dog of the Swiss Alps, which you see here. He is legendary, carries necessities to avalanche victims. To find one in such large size is thrilling, really. He would have been a mid-late 1800s epergne stand, one of a pair, flanking a truly massive mantel clock in some ski lodge, large estate, chalet. Perhaps a remaining piece from someone's Grand Tour purchase. The top opening is 2" in diameter, though as usual for epergne stands, it tapers narrower as it recedes. Still, you could use a glass lamp globe in it with candle, or a larger nearly 2" candle, or, as he begs to have done: convert him into the stand for a substantial lamp. I've done several. I'll add a photo of a pair I have in my other home right now, made from birds' carved epergne stands. Such a simple alteration, and just imagine how fabulous and unique this one would be made up thus.
Excellent condition throughout, for age and type. I find no real issues with this immense and heavy old carving. Entirely carved from a single log, it really does not have any missing or chipped bits to report. Shown from all angles, you can evaluate it well. Just in from France. We will not own this one long. Do not hesitate if you love it. It will be gone.
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