This unusual mortar and pestle though a marriage (made in heaven I might add) is of the larger variety and displays very well. It has all the exciting attributes imaginable sporting a beautiful hand carved design and the warm patina is extraordinary as well.
This 19th century (possibly continental) piece was hand carved out of one piece of wood. The intricate design feature involves a series of “crisscross” patterns in the middle and is carried over to the bottom outside edge. Another pattern of three slanted lines, on each side, that meet in the middle depicts a “V” design located at the top and bottom…… above and below the “crisscross” pattern. Inverted “V’s” are also located on the base with three adjoining vertical lines that meet in the center.
Images 8 through 11 show a sliver of wood that has a raised appearance on the base as well as the body (middle section). These raised areas do not line up as the area on the base is towards the left compared to the middle raised area that is located towards the right. There also appears to be a burn mark located on the back as referenced in image 6. A piece of wood is missing from the bottom edge as shown in image 12 but has recovered quite well with the passing of time as the patina is consistent and matches the rest of the wood.
This primitive mortar possesses great form as the base gently flares out from the body while the inside edge signifies a well-defined but crude carving technique. If you look closely whispers of concentric tree rings are present on the bottom along with several age related cracks, (see image 17). The rough edges that were present when this piece was created have now softened though time and are smooth to the touch.
The inside of this mortar exhibits a dark surface and there is a small hole located on the wall as shown in image 16. This mortar has quite the character and is a heavy piece that is sturdy and strong.
The pestle is actually a wooden masher (or beetle) and with some minor adjustments has now been transformed to justify an authentic look. The color matches the patina on the mortar and displayed with both pieces together it is hard to tell they are not an original set. The pestle does have some rough areas on the sides below the handle so please be careful when handling. You may want to consider using a cloth that is lint free when dusting as the fibers may get left behind in these rough areas.
There is an indent on the side of the pestle as well as age cracks located on the bottom. One crack runs in an upward location toward the handle about two inches in length as shown in image 27. The handle is smooth and so is the top portion (knob) that may have also served as a smaller crusher. There is some wear dedicated in the middle portion that has a gentle concave appearance as referenced in image 26.
This substantial set is very unique compared to other mortar and pestles that are commonly found. What a grand statement it would make on top of a mantle sprinkled with pewter chargers nearby or can even serve as a wonderful table display incorporated with other pieces of treen. Enjoy!
Mortar stands 9 ½” tall, measures 6” across the top (opening measures 3 ½”) and the base measures 5 ¾” across the bottom. Pestle stands 9 ¼” tall, measures 1 ¾” across the middle area and measures almost 1” across the handle @ the widest point.
~Freight (Standard Mail) included, however Insurance is optional and can be purchased @ checkout ~ within the continental U.S.