Can You Identify this Object?

Our special projects team came across this object while cataloging our cookware collections. It measures 57.5 centimeters high, 25 centimeters wide, and 25 centimeters deep. The bottom is a grate and the object is light weight.

The curatorial staff has been pondering this, but we are officially stumped.
Any suggestions?

This mystery object was found stored with our collection of cookware.

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26 Responses to Can You Identify this Object?

  1. Janice Tallman says:

    Could be a tea strainer

  2. Hmmm – I’d load it with potatoes and put it in a pot of boiling water…except that it’s square. What kind of pot was square?
    Did anybody figure it out yet?

  3. janita says:

    Looks like it could have been used to pull pull food out of hot oil when deep frying…..

  4. Karen says:

    Wouldn’t that be a perfect “tool” to carry a block of ice to the ice box?

  5. Chris says:

    It’s relatively simple. It is a potato masher. It may seem like the grate is too small for it, I thought the same thing until I actually saw it used for that.

  6. Scott Gowans says:

    The most obvious thing that comes to mind is a deep-fryer dipper; would work for non-stacked items that would lie flat, such as doughnuts.

  7. Jeanne Conte says:

    A grater.

  8. Jeanne Conte says:

    a grater

  9. Beth says:

    hmm… me it looks like an earlier type of fryer. You’d put something on the grate and dip it into the boiling substance, perhaps?

  10. Laura Lemermeier says:

    Perhaps some type of sifter or strainer?

  11. If I get this right can I get a job?

  12. It’s a hot coal carrier. You shovel a few hot coals on it and carry it from a fire to a stove or somewhere else.

  13. Carol T. says:

    Looks like something to tote hot coals in……………

  14. carolina says:

    Looked in my copy of “300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles,” by Linda Campbell Franklin. The closet thing I found, based on a few pictures and a couple of descriptions-only, was either a potato masher or a strainer of some sort. Do you have any more photos, especially one showing the bottom? Is it solid? My guess would be it’s from the late 19th or early 20th century, but I have nothing to back that up…yet. Will keep looking.

  15. Ryan Jackson says:

    It looks like it could be a potato masher.

  16. AmAnda says:

    Could you put a canning jar in it then use it to lower into boiling water for home canning?

  17. AmAnda says:

    Loop strings through it and lower into hot wax for candles?

  18. AmAnda says:

    Skim through wood pulp for making paper?

  19. this object was designed to hold a relatively small number of dreams – as you can see the rectangular shape and the inability to transfer weight from corner to corner — very soon made this device difficult to use in daily practice — after the development of the ‘REM Reminder Raid” which was able to store not only the dreams but also the the links to each of their referenced images and backstories to psychological databases, the cradle dream catcher became the standard and is still quite affordable on ebay and amazon for less than $30 depending on availably.

    we have had some difficulty verifying or substantiating any of the above statements. but we are making a joke so that is ok — ok?

  20. carolina says:

    What are the dimensions? Is it a large or small item? It’s difficult to tell based just on the photo. And are the wires solid/stiff or are they somewhat flexible? This info might (or might not!) help in trying to figure out what it is. Or perhaps, what it’s not.

  21. carolina says:

    I was hoping for the dimensions in inches! Ugh. So, you’re gonna make me google a conversion chart, ay?! LOL okie-dokie. As to the wires. if they’re “not substantial,” it’s probably not a masher of any kind. Maybe it’s just some sorta tool that someone jerry-rigged to do…whatever? (as opposed to one that was mass-produced & sold to one ‘n all)

  22. Duchess says:

    Way too big and flimsy for a potato masher/ricer. I’m with the folks thinking coal sifter. Another possibility might be to lift something like pickles out of a large crock or jar or water/brine/broth. 10″ x 10″ x 26″ is a pretty big item for any kitchen.

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