This piece gets the (but­ter) stamp of ap­proval!

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Front Page -

Ques­tion: I found this un­usual wooden ob­ject at a yard sale last year. Since I col­lect in­ter­est­ing-look­ing wood items, I paid two dol­lars for this piece. The seller had no idea what it was, or what it was used for. It has a han­dle that pushes down to an im­age of a swan. It ob­vi­ously was used to stamp the im­age, but there are no ink stains. It is 6.5 inches high, in­clud­ing the han­dle, by a 4.75-ich base. What is it and what is its value ?

An­swer: You have a piece of Amer­i­can culi­nary history: an an­tique but­ter stamp. From the 17th cen­tury and into the 1920s, in some ar­eas, but­ter was made at home and both dairy farm­ers and house­wives marked the but­ter with a de­sign.

Early but­ter stamps were chip carved by the farm­ers and hand pressed with a wood press such as yours. Wood but­ter molds have been pop­u­lar with col­lec­tors for decades who look for the most un­usual de­signs. Ea­gle stamps can sell in the high hun­dreds of dol­lars. Yours, if not a re­pro­duc­tion, could have a dealer price of $100 or more.

Anne Gil­bert

An­tique De­tec­tive

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