Decorative Collective -

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Item Details

A large, carved wooden board depicting a repeated floral motif and small human figures (one quite worn) on one side and the components of a house on the other side. The edges, which are deeply grooved on two sides, contain some apparently random marks, but nothing that can be construed as a signature. Mid-1800s.

The scholar William Woys Weaver notes that “The center of this carving tradition was German-speaking Europe… knowledge of mold carving became part of one's apprenticeship as a baker, so virtually every gingerbread baker also knew how to make his own molds. The array of subjects was enormous: love motifs for weddings, commemorative designs inaugurating a new bridge or sailing ship, war heroes, and a wide array of small figures to be hung on Christmas trees or stood up in windows as ornaments.”

Imprinting dough was possible in two different ways: one could roll it out, position it under the board and exert an even pressure to transfer the designs or one could place a sheet of rolled dough on top of the board and pass a rolling pin over it. The basic technique is clearly similar to that for springerle cookies, but it would have been necessary to chill both the dough and the board (and perhaps grease the latter with a neutral oil) to avoid its sticking or tearing. Once the impression was made the dough could be trimmed to the desired shape.

Length 39 cm - Width 26 cm - Height 3 cm
  • Period: Mid-1800s
    • Price: £336
    • €369 Euro
    • $405 US Dollar
  • Location: Italy
    • Dimensions: H: 39cm (15.35in)
    • W: 26cm (10.24in)
    • D: 3cm (1.18in)