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Pattern book - Metalwares pattern book, c.1820

Metalwares pattern book, c.1820

  • Object:

    Pattern book

  • Place of origin:

    England (published)

  • Date:

    1818-1820 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engravings, ink on paper, with cloth and leather binding

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 8

Object Type
This print is an engraving, a technique whereby an image is made by gouging lines into the surface of a flat metal plate, inking the plate and then under pressure transferring the ink held in the lines onto a sheet of paper.

Subject Depicted
This design for a wafer iron is from a volume of designs for door knockers, wafer irons, waffle irons, latches and candle snuffers. This collection of designs was created in about 1820 by an unknown English manufacturer.

A wafer iron is made up of two shallow pans that clasp together, and a long handle. The wafer biscuit is cooked on the fire, between the two pans. The design on the wafer iron was transferred to the wafer during the cooking process.

This design contains the American patriotic symbol of an American bald-headed eagle with the motto 'E Pluribus Unum' (From out of the many, one). The motto is written in reverse on the wafer iron, so that it reads the correct way round on the heated wafer biscuit. This design was therefore clearly intended for the production of wafer irons for use in the United States.

Physical description

Pattern book with designs for doorknockers, wafer-irons, latches and candle-snuffers.

Place of Origin

England (published)


1818-1820 (made)



Materials and Techniques

Engravings, ink on paper, with cloth and leather binding

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed 'Wafer Iron No. 2' and 'E.PLURIBUS UNUM' in reverse


Height: 20 cm, Width: 33 cm, Depth: 10 cm approx.

Object history note

Published in England by an unidentified manufacturer

Descriptive line

Metalwares pattern book, c.1820

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1927, London: Board of Education, 1928.

Labels and date

METALWARES PATTERN BOOK for the export trade 1818-1820

This page shows a door knocker in a catalogue of patterns for metalwares, such as waffle irons, latches and candle snuffers. The patriotic motif on this particular product, an American bald-headed eagle, indicates it was specifically aimed at the American market.

Engraving, ink on paper; with cloth and leather binding
Published in England by an unidentified manufacturer
Museum no. E.229-1927


Ink; Paper; Cloth; Leather


Binding; Engraved


Pattern books; Designs; Metalwork


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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