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Pumpkin Scraper or Butter Curler

ca.1770-1850
Origin: America
Overall: 13 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 1 7/8in. (34.3 x 8.9 x 4.8cm)
Wrought iron
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1933-398
Wrought iron one-piece knife with a deeply curved wide blade set with one plain edge, one saw-toothed edge, and a blunt point. Handle is of flat section with rounded edges, a swollen center portion, and a double-lobed end.
Label:This toothy piece of fine ironwork is a true "whatsit." While a primary function of the museum curator is to identify and interpret artifacts, this object has been stumping those at Colonial Williamsburg since it arrived in 1933. It is thought to be a kitchen implement made to perform a specialized function, but exactly what that is remains a mystery. One could see this tool being useful in removing the innards of a pumpkin or melon. Scraped across the surface of a large hunk of butter, its teeth would have produced fluted curls, ready to be served in a chic table setting.

Do you know what this "whatsit" is? If so, please contact Colonial Williamsburg and let us know.
Provenance:Mrs. Miles White, Jr., Baltimore, MD
Mark(s):"I" and "J" over "R" are stamped in block letters on the top surface of the handle end. A circular punch has been struck into the midpoint of the widest area of the handle, on the top surface.