Geographically speaking, “Black Forest” denotes the forested mountain range in southwest Germany. Since the early 1800’s, the phrase has been used to describe elaborate animal wood carvings, as the figures were thought to have originated in the Black Forest of Germany. It is believed that in the 1850s, the Trauffer’s, a family of woodcarvers, began popularizing the “black forest style” through their handicrafts, furniture making and their instruction in carving at a school in Brienz, Switzerland. The popular notion that the Black Forest style has its roots in the the Bavarian Black Forest, in Germany, is likely mistaken. By 1910 there were some 1,300 cottage industries of woodcarvers in the environs of Brienz and the Black Forest style of carving became a major economic force and home industry throughout Switzerland. The communities of Luzern and Interlaken also became noted for these handicrafts. The popularity of black forest carvings was driven by both a strong tourist industry and the crafts movement. The “Black Forest” style describes wooden sculptures or carved replicas of nature’s bounty, incorporated into the design of household items. Antique Black Forest handicrafts exemplify Swiss folk art traditions and are seen in carved clock cases, hall trees, desks, picture frames, chairs and all variety of decorative objects and furnishings. Walnut and linden wood is typically used. The black forest style is the accomplished carving and trained whittling of realistic tree branches, twigs, bears, birds, deer, rabbits, edelweiss flowers and such
Both of the brackets seen here feature a small, shaped shelf with a thin recessed molding along the underside. They rest on top of a tripartite tree trunk support, just above an eagle with wings displayed and expanded perched on a branch. Each eagle grips its prey with its talons. Additional branches dotted with small flowers surround each bird. The birds have been presented looking in opposite directions, allowing for them to be displayed on either side of a piece of art or architectural element.
Our pair of Swiss black forest eagle wall brackets have amazing detail and a rich walnut patina. The shelves can also support other accessories such as candlesticks or carved figures.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with fleabites and light buildup. Two small metal attachments have been installed on the back of each bracket for hanging purposes.