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Is this Swiss wood-carving a self-portrait?

18 October 2012Written by ATG Reporter

Despite being called a ‘Black Forest’ carving, this late 19th century figure by Johann Huggler of Brienz, of a poacher with dead deer, gun and a dog at his feet, the base carved with rabbits and birds, was actually produced in Switzerland rather than Bavaria.

It is estimated at £1500-2500 in the Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, country house sale of October 23.

The 3ft 1½in (95cm) high figure is thought to show Huggler himself. He was renowned locally as a poacher and the carving was a joke at the expense of the local gamekeepers.

The wood-carving industry of Switzerland originated in the picturesque town of Brienz. From humble beginnings of a cottage industry in the early 1800s it grew by the turn of the 20th century to become the industrial driving force of a whole community. By 1910 there were some 1300 carvers plying their trade.

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