Johann Huggler: William Tell with his Son, Walter

Date: Circa 1890s

About:     A carving of William Tell and his son, Walter, by artist Johann Huggler (1834-1912) of Brienz, Switzerland.  The carving is signed “Huggler   Haag-Binder   Luzern”.  Black walnut.  Legend of WilliamTell in 1303, with a reputation of the finest archer in the land… The bailiff Gessler representing the count of Habsburg in central Switzerland requests that everybody greets his hat on a rod in Altdorf (Uri). WilliamTell refuses reverence to the hat. The bailiff forces William Tell to shoot an apple off his sons head with his crossbow. WilliamTell hits the apple, but he has prepared a second arrow to shoot the bailiff in case he would have hurt the child.

Size:  25” high x 9.5” wide x 11″ deep.

Item  B216





B216 William Tell Huggler web 24 1b


Johann Huggler (1834-1912)

 Huggler was ranked the ‘King of Carvers’ among the estimated 1300 artisans who plied their trade in Brienz in the 19th century. At the time most wares were sold for export (largely to Northern European and American tourists).

The family and company name Huggler is well known with Brienz wood carving. The history started with Johan Huggler’s father, Kaspar Huggler (1806-1846) who worked for Christian Fischer. Taught by his father Johann Huggler turned out to be one of the magnificent wood carvers of Brienz. The family success history was continued by Hans Huggler (1877-1947) who designed the later and still popular nativity scenes. (In 2011 Huggler wood carvings celebrated its 111th birthday.)

The picturesque village of Brienz is located at the foot of the Brienzer Rothorn Mountain in Switzerland. With wood-carving being the main economy of this 3,000 person town, it has been a wood-carver’s mecca since the mid-nineteenth century.