The wheat ears are not quite opposite, and the leaves overlap, curl and double back differently. One rosette is peeping out from behind a wheat leaf. The veins of the wheat leaves are meticulous, tight and steady, with a central ridge indicating their stems. The delicate wheat ear stem is a proud high-risk ridge crossing the grain. It must have come from a specialist breadboard workshop as the reverse is stamped with the number 182, which may refer to the line number or the 182nd example made, in which case, who knows how many of the other 181 may still be out there!
The up-turned outer lip is very thin and elegant and suggests this may be a board from as early as the 1860s. The wear suggests it might have been stood up rosette-down, as the rim around the wheat ears is better preserved.The British habit of standing the freshly scrubbed board up against the wall meant that it might have sat in its own puddle, rotting the wood eventually. Ideally, we should all be toweling them down to remove the excess water, then standing them up somewhere dry to air thoroughly. The Turner has used a screw to secure the board to the lathe and has plugged it neatly. A larger board, another indication of an older board, it measures 31cm across the grain and 33cm along the grain, so it is visibly oval. This considerable difference is due firstly to 150+ years of shrinkage along the grain, but also the erosion of the rim being particularly pronounced along the grain where it is weaker. End grain is stronger, which also explains why the rim'wheat-side' is better preserved. After the sparing application of sunflower oil to nourish and protect it from changes in humidity, the rich parallel graining has become more visible. Vintage Breadboards, M Neave, (2019) by Prospect Books. The item "VERY FINE Collectable carved Victorian bread board with 2 rosettes & 2 wheat" is in sale since Thursday, January 14, 2021. This item is in the category "Collectables\Kitchenalia\Bread Boards". The seller is "antiquebreadboards" and is located in London. This item can be shipped worldwide.