A Very Finely Carved Early 19thC Architectural Finial of an Owl c.1810

Origin: German-American
Period: Early 19thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800-20
Height: 21”
Width: 5.5”
Depth: 6.5” (all at extremities & on stand)

The very finely and crisply carved architectural carving of a stylised owl, perched on a sphere, in a finely grained mahogany type wood, the feathers and claws all wonderfully realised, the whole probably carved by a Germanic craftsman that had settled in America, the carving likely to be that of a grand staircase finial, now on an associated base for display, surviving from the very early nineteenth century.

In good overall condition, there is some small loss to one of the birds claws, and some light wear to its extremities. The associated base is a Queen Anne period foot from a large piece of furniture and acts well as a stand but the owl can be removed if so desired.

Usually when one sees owl carvings they are tobacco jars, inkwells or boxes with the head acting as the lid, and are from the black forest region. This is exquisitely carved and is certainly more of a heraldic rather than a tourist ornament.

This carving came to us from America and it is possible that a European migrant carved it upon arrival in the States, and it is almost certainly an interior architectural feature, possibly from a grand staircase newel post.

Certainly, one of the best carvings we have handled, a wonderfully captivating piece.