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what do you think this tool is?

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what do you think this tool is?

Postby AJB Temple » 15 Jun 2022, 10:51

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We were at Waterperry Garden near Oxford at the w/e where there was a rare plant fair. Two ladies had a stand with old garden tools (I nearly bought an old scythe but decided it was too short for me) and among other things I bought this tool for £4.

They had no idea what it was. I intend to use it as a dough scraper. Possibly it might have been a garden tool used for dividing potted plants perhaps? Does anyone know its' true purpose? There are no makers marks at all, but it is very nicely made.
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby Andyp » 15 Jun 2022, 11:20

cheers
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby AJB Temple » 15 Jun 2022, 12:57

Thanks Andy. As I thought then. I already have a modern stainless steel one in my baking kit, but this is much nicer.
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby AndyT » 15 Jun 2022, 14:24

According to the 1938 Marples catalogue it's a mincing knife.

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https://archive.org/details/wm-marples- ... ew=theater
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby Lurker » 15 Jun 2022, 15:08

That reminds me of the ancient joke about the butchers assistant who got the sack for putting his penis in the mincer.
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby AJB Temple » 15 Jun 2022, 15:35

Thanks Andy. Mincing knife is a new one on me. It doesn't look as if it would take a sharp enough edge but I might run it across a 400 grit water stone and see. Anyway, I like it, and I think it was pretty cheap at £4.
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby Andyp » 15 Jun 2022, 15:40

I am sure Marples is more reliable than google……but a search on “antique mincing knives” brings up only curved cutters :eusa-think:
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby Lurker » 15 Jun 2022, 16:18

AJB Temple wrote:Thanks Andy. Mincing knife is a new one on me. It doesn't look as if it would take a sharp enough edge but I might run it across a 400 grit water stone and see. Anyway, I like it, and I think it was pretty cheap at £4.


I wonder if it was for holding the meat whilst slicing with a knife or cleaver.
Holding the tool blade vertically much like you use your fingernails when chopping parsley and the like, but on a larger scale.
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby AndyT » 15 Jun 2022, 17:02

Here's another catalogue, Tyzack, 1940, showing that for each variation on the theme there was a choice between straight and curved.

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https://archive.org/details/J.TyzackAnd ... ew=theater
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby Andyp » 15 Jun 2022, 17:22

Just out of curiosity Andy, do any of those catalogues have dough cutters in them?
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby AndyT » 15 Jun 2022, 17:34

Andyp wrote:Just out of curiosity Andy, do any of those catalogues have dough cutters in them?


I didn't spot any but some patterns listed as "scrapers" look like the sort of thing a baker might use to divide a batch of dough.

You'd probably need proper specialist catering catalogues. I think what happens with these is that, from the maker's point of view, if you can make a handle for any sort of trowel and attach it to a thin blade, you can make tools for quite different trades. These catalogues are mostly of woodworking tools but include some tools for other trades, often linked by being made in a similar way.

If you extend your thinking to include hoes, a dynasty of companies such as Brades-Nash-Tyzack must have made thousands of variations on the theme, largely in Staffordshire and the Black Country. All gone now with barely a trace left.
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Re: what do you think this tool is?

Postby RogerS » 16 Jun 2022, 11:34

It's what the postillion uses when he walks behind the horse.
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