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What is this old wooden artifact?

I was given this old wooden 'bowl' and told that it was a cream skimmer, which seems unlikely. It's around 24" long and 18" and made from one piece of timber.

Any ideas please?

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g-one2 years ago

It's rather a wooden dough bowl.

If it's not a bowl like G said, my bet would be a mortar and pestle for grinding grains.

MauriceW (author)  Wired_Mist2 years ago

Mmm, maybe, but if I'd designed it for either use I'd have made it with a flat base, I think.

g-one MauriceW2 years ago

It depends on its size and the kind of dough.

Bigger bowls were often used on a wooden stand.

Mixing dough by hand is a hard work. You have to fix it at a comfortable level. If you put a big bowl on a table it would be too high to work in and even with a flat base you would have problems to prevent it from sliding away.

MauriceW (author)  g-one2 years ago

Thanks everyone - I think it has to be a dough bowl, or a Trencher bowl. They seem to originate in Eastern USA, so I'm not sure where mine came from as it was found in a shed in Argyll, west Scotland! There are many fine examples on eBay, some with a stand as g-one says. I'm just sorry that mine is riddled with woodworm and has been chewed by some critter!

g-one MauriceW2 years ago

I'm from Germany. This kind of dough bowl is well-known for hundreds of years here as well. Difficult to guess where they were invented originally. But most likely the first european immigrands already caried them to America.

My parents have some of them stored in the attic (inherited from my great-grandparents). I fear they don't look better than yours though ;-)

The dark color indicates either heat treatment to harden the wood or oven use.
My grandmother had a smaller and rounder one and it was used only to raise dough in the oven or on a warm day outside, covered with a wet cloth.