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  • Place of origin:

    France (made)

  • Date:

    about 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved boxwood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A nutcracker like this would have been used mainly for cracking hazelnuts or cob nuts, as walnuts were usually cracked with the teeth at this date and brazil nuts had not yet been discovered by Europeans. Consequently the jaws of the nutcracker only need to open a short distance.
This boxwood example is topped by a monkey. He is seated, cross-legged, on a pile of books with a globe to one side, and is reading with great concentration.

Physical description

Carved boxwood nutcracker in two parts surmounted by a monkey with books and a globe.

Place of Origin

France (made)


about 1700 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved boxwood


Length: 255 mm, Width: 50 mm, Depth: 40 mm

Object history note

Purchased from the Lecarpentier Sale, Paris, May 1866 lot 53, £5 - 12 - 0
See memo of J.C.Robinson June 7th 1866 in which he notes that he selected a number of lots from the Lecarpentier sale as desirable, but purchased only lots 11, 52, 53, 687, 688, 18, 156, 158, 576 as 'the objects in general have realised considerably higher prices than I had anticipated...'

Described as "Nutcrackers in carved box wood. At the summit an ape reading seated on a pile of books with a globe by his side. French work circa 1700. Length 9 1/2"

Descriptive line

Carved boxwood nutcracker in the form of an ape reading among books and globes. French, ca. 1700.




Hand carving

Subjects depicted

Globe; Books; Monkey


Eating; Woodwork; Animals and Wildlife


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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