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Culinary roller

Culinary roller

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1598 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved pearwood

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The display of food at banquets and other special occasions was as important as its taste, and the pie was often the main element of the feast. This roller is made of pearwood, a close-grained wood, which is easier to clean and less prone to absorbing stains and moisture than softer woods like pine. It would been used to flatten the pastry and decorate it at the same time with monsters, heraldic animals and religious motifs. This example includes the pelican in her piety, who according to legend fed her young with her own blood and symbolized the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The use of a religious inscription in German rather than Latin in 1598 would most likely have indicated a pious Protestant rather than Catholic household.

Physical description

"Pastry-roller of incised pearwood. Four bands of ornament separated by the inscription GOT.ALEIN.DIE. ER. The bands are decorated as follows: 1. an eagle, a vase, a two headed eagle and a vase of flowers, 2. pairs of z-shaped scrolls enclosing sprays of flowers, 3, winged beast, a mermaid with two tails, a pelican in her piety, and a stag and 4, pairs of z-shaped scrolls enclosing sprays of flowers. The roller rotates round a pin with a handle at ecah end (the pin and one handle modern)." - 1904 Registered description.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)


1598 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Carved pearwood

Marks and inscriptions

He alone is God.


Diameter: 5.3 cm, Length: 52 cm including handles

Object history note

Bought for £1. 10s from L.H. Jahn, c/o Municipal Art Gallery and Museum, Wolverhampton (RF 82761/1904) 'Cracked and chipped'

Descriptive line

Culinary roller of incised pearwood




Carving; Turning

Subjects depicted

Pelican; Mermaid; Stag; Eagle; Double headed eagle


Household objects; Woodwork


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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