In the 1800′s the wood carving industry of Switzerland started in the town of Brienz. By the end of the 1800′s it had become the driving force for this industry.
Swiss wood carvers became world renown and featured at many international exhibitions.
Here is a shortlist of the major exhibitions Black Forest Carvings were spotlighted. Great Exhibition, London (1851) Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia (1876)Chicago Worlds Fair, Chicago (1893)Exposition Universelle, Paris (1900)
In Europe Black Forest carvings became a symbol of luxury and wealth. The finest pieces of Black Forest carving was often found in Royal collection and elite collector’s homes (usually Victorian world travelers).
During the 1800-1900′s popularity was also growing in many overseas markets. There was a high demand for these carving especially depicting American Wildlife.
In the last 15 years this genre has seen some major changes.
Specialty auctions and dealers have been popping up world wide. Along with various books on the subject being published.
For the first time pieces showing up at auction are being attributed to Master Swiss carvers. The biggest misconception about Black Forest carvings is that they originated in Germany. However they are actually the creation of Swiss carvers.
Just like most antiques quality is very important when it comes to Black Forest carvings. The quality of a carving can vary from indifferent to first rate.
World class examples of Black Forest carving rarely hit the open market and when they do they are usually snatched up quickly.
The subject and detail of the piece also affect the value.
Bears are the most commonly depicted animal, this makes other animals such as dogs much more rare. These rarer animals can bring 2-3 times more at auction than the same piece depicting bears.