Pieces such as this have long been associated with the Black Forest region but more properly were created in Brienz, Switzerland, where a cottage industry supporting hundreds of wood carvers thrived well into the 20th century.
Baedeker’s travel guide of the period describes the town as having a population of 2400, of whom 600 persons were employed as woodcarvers, to supply the upper-class tourist trade to Switzerland with mementos of the Grand Tour.
This beautifully carved maple stick stand, c.1890, is in the manner of Walter Mäder and his son Heinrich, master carvers who specialised in detailed renditions of Swiss mountain dogs. The rarest and most desirable are near life-size pieces such as this.
Estimated at £2000-3000 at the auction on August 17, it sold for £14,000.