This charming figure of the infant Christ is closely related to the nude cherubs in the Locher altarpiece in Freiburg Cathedral which were carved by Sixt von Stauffen between 1522-1530 and illustrated by Feulner. Further comparisons can be made with the fruitwood group of three putti playing in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, previously attributed to Hans Daucher but now to Daniel Mauch; note the treatment of the hair, the arms and the torso as well as the execution of the eyes with their linear outline. That group is also similar in height. Indeed, as well as supplying altarpieces and wooden religious figures for Swabian churches, a number of small fruitwood figures and goldsmiths models have been attributed to Mauch and include a group of the Virgin and child formerly on the New York art market and a figure of Venus in the Walters art gallery, Baltimore, both illustrated by Rasmussen.
The nut which is being pecked at by the bird, possibly a goldfinch, symbolises Christ - the shell representing the wood of the cross and the kernel His divine nature.
Feulner, plate 60; Rasmussen, n.s.4, 1973, pp.121-44; Baxandall, p.303, pls.81-83; Eser; Chipps Smith, pp.365-366 & 387