This large Black Forest walnut cave a liqueur is from 19th century France. The box has a working lock and key and the interior contents are visible through the beveled glass sides. In the 1800’s, black forest carvings became a symbol of status and wealth. They included the realistic carving of tree branches, flowers, birds, and various animals, such as bears and dogs.
Turning the key on the front door allows both doors to swing open on a pair of polished steel hinges. The top lifts as well, revealing a gilded caddy adorned with acanthus leaves that houses four decanters and 16 cordial glasses. The crystal decanters have etched glass depicting fruited vines. The cordial glasses also have frosted embellishments: 10 of the crystal glasses have husk ornamentation, while the remaining six have sprawling ivy.
The beveled glass is surrounded by simple frames within unadorned walnut panels on all sides, except for the front doors, which has hand-carved scrolled vines and spade-shaped leaves. The rectangular plinth base is embellished with foliate carvings on the corners that flank fan-shaped leaves. The most impressive carving is found on the top in the form of a large bird with wings spread. The bird is standing on rocky ground that contains a nest with three eggs. Surrounding the beautiful carving is a raised molding bordered by more scrolled vines.
Sophisticated and charming, this black forest cave a liqueur with its bright steel hinges from the 19th century would make a fantastic addition to a wet bar, library or den.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor rubs and fleabites to wood. Light buildup to glass panes. One small missing screw inside (has no effect). There is no missing crystal ware, which is rare for a cave a liqueur of this age.