Black Forest Bear Bench


A very fine example of a Swiss Black Forest carved bench, being supported and held by two bears. Finely carved in the 1800’s, this interior antique seating is in superb condition, with central carvings of an additional bear and various leaves. A wonderfully rich and dark wood patina.

A superb quality 19th Century Swiss black forest hall bench, the two well-carved bears of good size with glass eyes supporting a carved bench with carvings of various leaves and a bear in the center. Circa 1880.


Black Forest Carved Bear Bench – collectable furniturHistory of the Black Forest carvings

Black Forest was originally thought to be elaborate and realistic wood carvings made in the Black Forest region of Germany. However, new research shows for sure, these carvings came from Switzerland. It was 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. This industry soon became world renowned and were exhibiting in very notable exhibitions. To own one was a tick in the box for wealth and luxury.

These black bears were carved in detail and family carvers often had their own favourite area of the forest to pick their chosen wood. The choice of wood was a carefully guarded secret and was often passed down from generation to generation.

There were four popular choices for the chosen wood

  • Linden – a European Lime Wood
  • Walnut
  • Pear
  • Maple

The most notable carvings of animals included Bears, Stags, Eagles, Boars and dogs.

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Dimensions150 × 50 × 83 cm

19th Century



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