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Pot or Lid Lifter

ca.1750-1820
Origin: America
Overall: 4 5/8 x 6 3/8 x 3/4in. (11.7 x 16.2 x 1.9cm)
Wrought iron
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1979.808.9
Wrought iron pot or lid lifter, constructed in two pieces. Tapered handle, deeply concave on its top surface and convex on the bottom, gracefully bent around to form an ovoid loop. Both ends of handle terminate in tight scrolls that meet, but are not joined. A square sectioned bar, mortised and peened into one end of the handle, transitions into a flattened hook with a delicately scrolled tip.
Label:Without heavy cloth potholders or space-age polymer mitts, the early American cook had only two real options to move a super-hot iron cooking vessel around the kitchen. A wadded up cloth could work, but such rags didn't always provide a sure grip, potentially leading to a messy spill or a painful burn. An attractive alternative was the simple "lifter," which could be made by any blacksmith, and limited only by imagination. Having a sturdy hand-hold at its top and a firm hook below, the lifter was the perfect tool to use when picking up a steaming vessel or removing a hot pot lid.
Provenance:Accessioned by the Department of Collections in 1956 and transferred to the AARFAC on 8/1/79.