Object Detail

Pastry Jagging Wheel carved from walrus tusk. One end has four tines for piercing pie pastry to let our steam and the opposite end supports a wheel designed to make a zig-zag pattern in pastry.
CH classification HANDCRAFTS Sailor's Crafts scrimshaw
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food Preparation craver
L215 x W20 x H41 mm
Media/Materials description
Walrus tusk
History and use
Made since at least the 1600s, pastry jagging wheels (also known as jiggers, pastry wheels, pastry cutters or pie crimpers) are used to mark a design on pastry, such as that around the edge of pies.

Pastry jagging wheels will always have a wheel on one end, with various designs on the other end of the tool, including spoons, patterning tools and forks (like this one). The fork end is used to pierce the pastry of a pie to allow steam to escape.

This pastry jagging wheel is carved from walrus tusk. Walrus are only found in the Arctic Ocean and the sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. Pastry jiggers can also be made from metal and wood. The ones made from walrus tusk and whale bone tend to date to the 19th century.

The carving of walrus tusk and whale bone (or ivory) is known as scrimshaw and those who do such carving are scrimshanders. Scrimshaw is derived from the practice of sailors on whaling ships creating common tools, where the byproducts of whales were readily available. The term originally referred to the making of these tools, only later referring to works of art created by whalers in their spare time. Whale bone was ideally suited for the task, as it is easy to work and was plentiful.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
Registration number