This metal sculpture is of a zoomorphic individual (Schnitzerl) straddling his Philosopede. The Philosopede moves on a single central wheel. While it is benign in appearance, It has a formidable beak and deadly sharp spikes to the rear of its ovate but empty head. The title of this sculpture is derived from a poem from the Breitmann Ballads by Charles G Leland – Schnitzerls’ philosopede, which is a fin de siecle poem about a mono-wheeled philosophical contraption that “vent as sure ash ecks” but eventually brought about the demise of its inventor Schnitzerl.
“So vas it mit der Schnitzerlein On his Philosopede His feet both shlipped outsidevard shoost Vhen at his extra shpeed. He feeled oopon der vheel of coorse; De vheel like blitzen flew! Und Scnitzerl he vas schnitz in vact, For it shlished him grod in two”. *
• The Breitmann Ballads by Charles C. Leland. Published by Trubner & Co. Ludgate Hill. London 1890. p69.