A Renaissance boxwood nutcracker. French, c.1580. Measures 26cm high.
Carved with the head of a bearded man wearing a hat surmounted by a falcon. The lever action opens his mouth to insert the nut. There is a vacant cartouche below his head in which the owners armorial could have been carved or painted. Each of the fluted handles are fitted with with whistles varying in pitch, undoubtedly used to get the attention of servants. For similar examples see: Christie's, London, 3 November 2011, lot 152, Syd Levethan: The Longridge Collection, and Christie's, London, 11 June 2010, lot 1185, Syd Levethan: The Longridge Collection, Related Literature: 'The Art & Character of Nutcracker', Arlene Wagner, Collector's Press, US, illustrates a near identical example entitled 'Man with Bird on Hat', dated to 1560-1580 and which also features a whistle in the handle, probably to attract the attention of servants. 'Treen for the Table', Jonathan Levi, 1998, pl.12/10 p. 160.
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3 000 €