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Best of 2003: Best Wood Mantel Carver

Bill Nevers, Nevers Oak
312 North Coast Highway 101, Encinitas
760-632-5808

For 26 years, artist and sculptor Bill Nevers has been carving mantelpieces. "I love them because they are so important in a house," he says. He'll carve dolphins, birds, seashells, your family crest, life-size dogs, horses, your initials -- anything -- for a few hundred dollars to $50,000. A mantel with fifteen horses coming at you with roses on the side sells for $26,500. One with elephants is $16,000. The price often depends on the wood. A "Dolphin and Surfer" mantel carved from poplar costs $3000. Expect to wait about three months from order to delivery.

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