Superb mid-1800s hand carved game scene, unsigned deep bas relief work of a Black Forest artist of great skill (Swiss carvers). You have what might seem more like a much smaller match holder, but this is a large plaque at almost 23" in length. It's unusual to see one of this large size with the game pouch carved and open like this, and it's wonderfully appealing. Perhaps held spills for lighting fire, candles and the like in that time. The animals and game birds are exquisitely true to anatomical realism, and the hare and duck and pheasant are a bit smaller than life size but almost seem like they could come alive and wander off, so realistically sculpted they are. Entirely hand carved wood, the backing plaque on this one and the old carving are both very solid heavy wood. Added in is the hunter's powder pouch. A wonderful hunter's theme, still life. It is 22.75" x 13.5" oval and is a full 3.25" in depth. Most are bas relief, but these are full figures. Beautiful!
Very good to excellent for age and type. No wood worm that I can see, which is rather unusual. Very heavy wood, old natural forest growth of tight fine structure. Most of these are lighter in weight. Partly owing to the thick backing plaque, true. But it's a solid thing! There are a couple of flaws, but the fine quality more than overcomes those. Let me point out, one of the hare's back feet is chipped off, and perhaps the very end of a front foot. A small chip of only carved feather on the shank of the pheasant's leg at the knee joint, and one chip on the fringe of the game bag. All rather innocuous when you consider the fine work this is and the age. There is, at the very top, also an indentation on that ornately carved border, into which there must have once been a hanging ring. It is now hung by a wire attached to the backside of the plaque. I think I would replace the top ring with a metal one, perhaps. You will decide. Isn't it fabulous! Just in from France.
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