Sculpture/what is it

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Question
wood carving
wood carving  

wood carving
wood carving  
hello, ive recently aquired a piece of carved wood with carved art on both sides, one side is flat and the other has compartments cut in it. I have no idea what it is or where its from. any information on the piece would be greatly apprieceated.

Answer
Hi James,  this is a very interesting item....the decoration is more PyroGraphy (woodburning) than carving, most likely made with a hot wire.  The images are beautiful and look like it originates from an island culture. I believe there are pineapple plants on the compartment side. Pineapples are a symbol of household hospitality. At first glance it reminds me of a valet which is a wooden tray placed on top of a mans dresser as a catch-all for when he empties his pockets when undressing but I have issues with that explanation.  My first issue is the size, this is pretty large and my second issue is why it is so nicely decorated on both sides. Another option that comes to mind is as some type of food serving tray, such as grapes, cheese and crackers or other items.  The truth of it is that I've never seen anything quite like this. It may have been created for a specific purpose that we cant imagine. The only thing I'm pretty certain of is that it has some sort of household use.  Sorry I could not be more knowledgeable about this particular item but it is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Sculpture

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maura macaluso

Expertise

I AM NOT AN APPRAISER and will reject most questions of this sort.....I am am passionate woodcarver and historian, I place no weight on monetary value. I can answer most questions, regarding, wood sculpture, wood carving, carving tools and accessories and different types of woods. I am not an appraiser of carvings nor an antique dealer. Most carvings are unsigned and otherwise anonymous and most carvers were independent artists and craftsmen of whom no records were kept. It is usually not possible to tell you who carved it, where it was carved or how much it is worth.

Experience

I do full design work, custom carving, restoration, fabrication, repair and refinishing. I can take a piece of raw wood and turn it into a work of art and I can help you do the same. I am "the" carving instructor for the new york city parks dept. I am heavily involved in carving on the internet and belong to many, many mail lists which are quite active. I am also an international promoter of woodcarving and am affiliated with many master carvers, notably nora hall, originally from holland, now in the U.S. and kalina pavlova, a bulgarian master carver. I routinely communicate with the top names in professional woodcarving nationally and internationally.

Organizations
the national association of woodcarvers. the woodcarvers of queens NY, the staten island woodcarvers. the northeast woodcarving association. the world wide carving internet list

Publications
chip chats-the national magazine of woodcarving. also at www.carvinginnyc.com

Education/Credentials
Self taught artist and sculptor, 40 years of drawing and painting as a hobby, 10 years of serious woodsculpting. I have a website and have written a 300 pg book on carving. I have published online tutorials and pictorial projects.

Awards and Honors
many first place awards

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