WAR OF THE SECOND COALITION. AN EXTRAORDINARY NORTH ITALIAN ANTI-NAPOLEONIC GNARLED OLIVE WOOD WALK
WAR OF THE SECOND COALITION. AN EXTRAORDINARY NORTH ITALIAN ANTI-NAPOLEONIC GNARLED OLIVE WOOD WALKING CANE, PROBABLY VERONA, DATED 1797 AND 1799 extensively and symbolically carved, the handle in the form of a chained monkey on an elaborate seat, the reverse with double headed eagle and date 1797, a medallion bearing the letters MM/M flanked by a soldier and fasces with broken axe and phrygian cap, each above banner with cryptic inscription, the shaft with long Latin inscription on a spiralling belt, 103.5cm In the last line of the long inscription the anonymous virtuoso woodcarver declares (in translation) "I have made this stick... and carved it enigmatically." That is undoubtedly so, but it is clear the monkey is to be seen as a representation of the French, or Napoleon (who was sometimes ridiculed in this way by his enemies) or the French General, Scherer. The inscription also makes reference to the monkey believing he was devouring "tasty morsels prepared by his supporters at Verona... 1799" and blames "French brigands" and the "impious brood of atheists and Jacobins".The Battle of Verona was fought on 26 March 1799 between French forces under Scherer and the Habsburg Austrian army. The date 1797 is a reference to the so-called Veronese Easter. This week long revolt against occupying French forces began on 17 April.
Estimate: £400 - 600
Sold for £1500