Swiss Black Forest Gnome Tobacco Jar


Late 19th Century Circa 1890

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    ‘Berne’ The Gnome

    From our Black Forest collection, we are delighted to offer this rare Swiss Black Forest carving of a tobacco jar shaped as a gnome. The Gnome stands proud wearing a green apron, hooded top with a large stein in his right hand and his left hand resting in his pocket.  The jar is hinged at waistline of the Gnome allowing access to the tobacco store within the hollowed out body. The tobacco jar is signed to the bottom in the centre with the Gnomes nickname ‘Berne’ dates to the late 19th century circa 1890.

    Literature See Swiss Carving The Art of ‘Black Forest’ 1820-1940, page 166, model M12608 for the near identical carved figure from retailers Meiringer Holzschchnitzerei.

    Black Forest is a term used to describe the elaborate, realistic carvings of a vast array of wooden pieces such as clocks and animals. Our Black Forest collection at Jacksons Antique features varying objects of highly desirable carvings such as woodland animal Tobacco Jars. Our aim is to supply that breath taking piece of Black Forest to add that special edge to any collection or home.

    Commonly thought to originate from the Black Forest in Bavaria Germany, Black Forest carvings actually originate from Switzerland. The most recognisable Black Forest carvings are usually bears carved amongst different pieces such as hat stands, tables and whimsical figures.  Black Forest products can also be seen carved into other forest wildlife as well as clocks, music boxes and furniture although these are more uncommon making them highly desirable.

    Black Forest items are usually very easy to identify due to the wood, colour and the subjects. Frequently the animals play instruments and can be incorporated into climbing trees, holding benches or begging as part of the Black Forest furniture. Each of the pieces are usually carved from a linden or walnut tree trunk and unsigned. However, the earlier pieces can be seen to be signed by renowned carvers such as Johann Huggler and Ruef Brothers. For further information about Black Forest please see our article ‘A Well Carved Lesson‘.

    Measurements 34cm High x 15.5cm Wide x 14cm Deep ( 13.4 x 6.1 x 5.5 Inches approximately)

    Condition Very Good antique condition