What Is It! #29

I think this is an old bread cutting board from Europe probably France or Germany. The reason I believe that it was used exclusively for bread is because of the diagonal grooves on the surface, which are there to catch the breadcrumbs. There were different cutting boards for slicing meats and cheeses.

The small handle with a hole in it is there to enable hanging on a kitchen wall. To me these grooves and the hand carved form and worn surface and edges, suggest that my boar is pretty old. There were no commercial boards made before 1870.

An attractive vintage nicely shaped board can still be bought for about $200 and would look good on any kitchen wall. Someone recently paid $1,800 for a signed beautifully shaped cutting board made in the 1950s from a rare piece of wood by famed wood artesian George Nakashima.

WHAT IS IT?

(Editor’s note: Palisades resident Howard Yonet has an interesting collection of curios from around the world and with his permission, Circling the News is publishing one a week. About the collector: Dr. Howard Yonet was born in Brooklyn in 1934 and attended Brooklyn College. He went to Baylor Medical School and then returned to do an internship at Bellevue Hospital. Yonet completed his residency at the Manhattan V.A. and the Montefiore Hospital. During this time he went skiing in Vermont and the Catskills, and while traveling found barns filled with early American pieces. This led to his interest in American Antiques.

In 1965, he married Daniele, who was originally from Nancy, France. During the Vietnam War, Yonet was drafted as a medical officer and stationed in Landstuhl, Germany (1966-1969). This was close to the French border, which meant he and Daniele and could visit her family.

While abroad, the Yonets took weekend trips through France and Italy, purchasing many interesting pieces at flea markets.

The family settled in Pacific Palisades in 1970 and Yonet practiced general radiology until 2006. He continued to acquire antiques and collectables at estate and garage sales and the Salvation Army Store. He also enjoyed looking for collectibles while traveling in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Massachusetts. Daniele’s family helped add to his collection.)

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