I am fond of my antique nutmeg grater which considering it is over 200 years old is in lovely condition. The screw thread attaching the top to the bottom works like a dream, and the little grater held in place by a circle of bone or ivory also screws perfectly into the base which in turn holds one whole nutmeg. I have contemplated who the first owner might have been and it is most likely to have been a Georgian gentleman. He would have carried it in his coat or waistcoat pocket on a daily basis so that he could freshly grate some nutmeg on top of his mulled wine or food. Nutmeg became a very desirable c17th ingredient consumed medicinally and also as a culinary delight. During the plague demand was at an all time high as it was believed to offer protection!
My small nutmeg grater was skillfully carved from a cocquilla nut being the fruit of a Brazilian palm - these small articles made from Cocquilla nuts and different hard woods are known in the antique trade as 'treen'.
Eight people answered that it was a nutmeg grater, and some also correctly knew that it was 200 years old and carved from a Cocquilla nut. In the order that they came in and well done to you all, but also thanks to everyone else who gave it a try:-
1. Jim - Road to Parnassus
4. Bob - Blue Sky Scotland
5. Janneke - The Flowering Outdoors