Nutmeg Graters

Nutmeg Graters

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Another fad from England which continues until today.  Everyone knows the English infatuation with tea in the 17th and 18th centuries produced every imaginable tea accessory.  These accessories included finely made rare wood objects such as tea caddies, tea tables, tea poi, tea carts, etc. all growing very ornate and expensive by use of rare woods like Cuban mahogany, rosewood, and ebony and by skilled craftsmen in every phase of fine woodworking.  There were also many tea accessories made of the famous English Sterling.  The skillful silversmiths made thousands of tea pots, tea services, tea spoons, tea cups, and everything tea.

The Nutmeg grater fad also reached its peak in the George III period.  During this time Nutmeg, which grows in only one area of the world, became very expensive and therefore popular with upper class English gentry.  Nutmeg became so popular that the English silversmiths began to make small sterling Nutmeg graters which could be carried in a pocket or purse so the well-to- do person could open the small grater to expose a grate and rub off some nutmeg which fell into the lower section of the sterling case.  The lower section was then opened to shake the spice as desired.  These small sterling graters became very popular and also became very beautifully designed and decorated.  The estimated value of  nutmeg graters depends upon condition,  decoration and design, and reputation of the maker.  They can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars each.

 

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