Enigmas and Puzzles – October 2021

22nd October 2021
A ‘Black Forest’ eagle owl, Swiss, circa 1800.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted one or two pieces in our photos of The Chelsea Antiques Fair which look familiar from our previous newsletters; the Goanese contador, the Bidston Hill ceremonial spade, the Ottoman Empire tiles and the fabulous floral bouquet carved by James Peake.  Amongst the new items was this hypnotic eagle owl.  Why is this whole genre called ‘Black Forest’, after an area in Germany, when in fact they were carved in the Swiss Alps?  One theory is that the German carvers migrated to Switzerland to find work and stayed there – but their carvings have not shaken off their original name.

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