Black Forest Carved Dog
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:06)
Decorative Arts, Furniture, Silver
Vice President & Generalist Appraiser, European Furniture
APPRAISER: When I first saw your dog, I was so excited, because for a second I actually thought it was a real dog. Can you tell me something about where you got it from? Because it's so lifelike.
GUEST: This dog was purchased in Switzerland in 1907 by a great-great-aunt of mine. And when she passed on, she gave it to my mother and my mother then has passed it on to me. It is carved out of one piece of wood and its name is Barry.
APPRAISER: Oh, I'm glad he has a name.
GUEST: And he is actually supposed to be a replica of the St. Bernard that used to take things to people that were trapped in the Alps.
APPRAISER: That's really neat. And she brought it all the way back from Europe, and she didn't think, perhaps a smaller dog or another type of animal?
GUEST: It evidently must have attracted her.
APPRAISER: Yeah, I... I'm not surprised. It certainly caught my eye. And sometimes people call this type of carving "Black Forest carvings" although they're from Switzerland and the Black Forest is in Germany, that's what these types of carvings are called. Most of the time, you'll see bears or you've seen rabbits or other things, so a dog is a bit more unusual to see. One of the nice things about the carvings, though, is that it's so lifelike. You know, you've even got this nice fluffy tail, and you can see the whorls of the hair. Almost, you expect it to shed. And even to the point of the little pads on the feet, and that's a wonderful sign of the quality of the carving.
GUEST: And the toenails, also, are another thing.
APPRAISER: I know, that's just great-- little, tiny toenails and the rope and also the glass eyes. A lot of the Black Forest carved animals will have glass eyes.
GUEST: Will they?
APPRAISER: These are actually quite collectable, and people really enjoy them. Do you have any idea of how much you think something like this could be worth?
GUEST: No, none.
APPRAISER: Have you ever put a price tag on Barry?
GUEST: No, no, never.
APPRAISER: Is Barry priceless to you?
GUEST: No, he's just always been to the family, and that's where he'll stay.
APPRAISER: Something like this, at auction, I would expect to fetch between about $3,000 and $5,000 and possibly a bit more--
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: --because it's very unusual, yeah.
APPRAISER: So Barry's worth a pretty penny.
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