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Odd wooden artifact. Domestic tool??

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    Posted 7 years ago

    (1 item)

    I'm hoping someone knowledgeable can please help me ID this interesting wood artifact. It's solid wood (species unknown) 14" long overall, 3-1/2 wide and 1-1/2 thick. The front tapers to an edge that's approx 1/2" thick.

    There's an oval, elongated "bowl" in the middle of it that appears to be worked in versus carved in. The bowl area measures 8"x 2-1/2".
    There are two extensions at either side of the rear that measure 2" long x 1" wide. There are two carved wood pegs on the bottom which keep this piece level.

    The whole item weighs 1-1/2 pounds and feels like it's been coated with a paraffin wax. I picked it up at an estate sale near Seattle thinking it might be a Native American artifact to add to my collection, but all my research has not turned up any clues so I'm really stumped. Any help to identify this or even to offer a clue would be greatly appreciated.

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    1. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Yes. This will probably have to be longer to "take", so yes.
    2. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Hi. Forgive me, but I don't understand your comment. Please elaborate. Thanks.
    3. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      "Yes" meaning it must be domestic as it obviously isn't wild. How can I elaborate on some comment I don't remember making? LOL. Welcome to CyberAsylum or CW.
      Hopefully, somebody will come along with an answer or at least a plan.
    4. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Ahhh, understood. Thank you for the warm welcome. Lots to see and learn here.
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Just probably not from me. LOL. We have a good group with a large variety of knowledge.
    6. jacko66, 7 years ago
      i wonder if it was a fireplough originally
    7. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Jack: I'd be grateful for any other leads you can offer. In the meantime, I'll educate myself on fireplough's. Thank you!
    8. jacko66, 7 years ago
      sometimes you find something when looking for something completely different and it makes you wonder could it be check out links
    9. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Jacko, do you really think that's what it is? I don't.
    10. jacko66, 7 years ago
      i not sure yet but the design of the piece i posted looks very similar to one in question it would be interesting to find out if it had hinged block of wood in same place i know the ones i put up are modern types but design had to originate from something
    11. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Jacko, I was just trying to catch up on "email me" notices tonite & ran into this. We just got hit by a Cat. (Whatever 109 mph hurricane) is, & still digging out. Right now I don't have time to follow this. maybe later. Bon chance.
    12. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Hello gents. And I genuinely appreciate your input. Alas, I'm 99% sure this isn't going to fit the incense burner category. Too many incongruities and no noticeable scorches or burns. The fireplough seems to head in the right direction. I spent 1/2 a day looking at Native American artifacts of this nature, but no "Ah Ha!" moments.
      The wood (a) appears extremely old (b) very weathered (c) Appears to be a hardwood species. I did some research on "waterlogged" wood carvings as well which holds some promise. Again, thank you for your efforts.
    13. jacko66, 7 years ago
      the search goes on at least were eliminating things that it could be when i see objects like this i try to match them to similar shaped object that i have seen before sometimes they match and are connected. this has me scratching my head now .

      hope the storm is not to bad BB2 and blows over soon and no serious damage is done by it stay strong and keep your powder dry
    14. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Jacko, 2 confirmed dead ( knew both) rumored total of 5, 15 missing, 44 live on yachts sunken. Tired & no water, so I stink! Not f/b. NOAA gave us a sucker punch!!
    15. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 7 years ago
      looking through my vintage tool book the closes I come up with is a basket and belt makers plane...hope it helps ...BB 2 sorry to hear about your friends .glad you made thought the storm...........
    16. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Thanks Roy! No water & too tired to eat.
    17. jacko66, 7 years ago
      sorry for your loss bb2 may they rest in peace
    18. jacko66, 7 years ago
      Roycroftbooksfromme1 any pics of basket and belt makers plane i searched and could not find any thanks
    19. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Yes, please... a picture of the basket and belt maker's plane would be appreciated.
    20. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 7 years ago

      try contacting these folks for info .....
    21. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Roy: Thank you for pointing me towards this resource. Lots of great information here.
    22. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Gents: I'm starting to lean towards a Hawaiian "papa ku‘i ‘ai" (kalo or poi pounding board). Google images has multiple examples. This one is rather small compared to others, but it may have been for a child or special purpose (grinding seeds, spices, etc.). I'll keep looking, but please tell me what you think. Thanks
    23. Roycroftbooksfromme1, 7 years ago
      sure it isn't Japanese........
    24. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      I'll take a turn on Japanese. I'm also exploring the possibility of sailing vessel artifacts. I learned that conservators often saturate any waterlogged wood artifacts they bring up from shipwrecks in a paraffin solution.... this one is coated with paraffin and under a 16x loupe you can see grains of sand.... the thick plottens!
    25. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      SSBN, I'm exhausted! 10 planes destroyed. Can I vote now?
    26. jacko66, 7 years ago
      if your thinking of nautical theme it might be worth looking at rope splicing fids and netting needles
    27. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      I live around that stuff & though alone those lines, but just didn't seem to fit.
    28. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 7 years ago
      i think that it's one of a pair of antique bigfoot footprints used to spook the newcomers!
    29. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      ho2cultcha: In those now famous words of Bugs Bunny... "Mmmmmm, could be!"
    30. jacko66, 7 years ago
      any luck with it yet
    31. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Honestly, no... I've been scratching my head and searching down various "rabbit holes" on the web but nothing definitive.
    32. Jewels Jewels, 7 years ago
      Hi ssbn, could be hawaiian or Polynesian?
    33. jacko66, 7 years ago
      hi just throwing a theory i have about it, the 2 pegs at the back to keep the item level makes me think that something liquid was put into it and had to be level to avoid spillages that led me to think of molds for different uses i.e. candles, soap,cheese,butter,mapel sugar,etc than the fact that u say there is a coating of paraffin wax on it adds to my theory because it would have acted as a release coating on the wood to prevent sticking also paraffin has been used as a seal on foods stuff for centuries it is also widely used as a to form a wax coating on cheese,there are many molds made of wood for the purposes above that i mention but all are more finely decorate than your which makes me think it was probably made as a necessity rather than than a item of grandeur,
      as i said its only a theory i have about it i could be totally wrong and going of my head with this item lol
    34. SSBN641, 7 years ago
      Wow that's a very interesting possibility that has merit to it. I'll do some research along this line and see what comes up. Thank you for the great idea to explore.
    35. Deano Deano, 6 years ago
      SSBN625B calling SSBN641, Been reading this odyssey and was wondering how it turned out....
    36. SSBN641, 6 years ago
      Alas... the mystery is still afoot! I feel like I'm playing that old board game: "CLUE". The 'crime' was committed by the the green room...with the old wooden artifact.

      I was thinking about submitting it to a Native American archaeology group to see if they had any ideas.
    37. Karenoke Karenoke, 5 years ago
      My interest is piqued, any update?
      It is certainly interesting.
    38. SSBN641, 5 years ago
      Karenoke: Thank you for asking. Alas, no progress. I'm still stumped. I keep hoping some eagle-eye collector will see it and ID it.
      Have a great holiday!
    39. SSBN641, 4 years ago
      After some more research, I believe this is what's called a "Trencher bowl". They come in a wide range of sizes, some elongated as this one is. I've also discovered references to them being waxed. And their uses range from a serving surface, a spice or salt holder and a dough plate. I also saw pictures of some with the tangs (or "ears") on them as this one also has. I would certainly welcome any confirmation or elimination of my working theory. Thanks!

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