This is a batter whisk used in a bread and pastry making process. It needs a hard stiff wood for best work. The most popular wood for this was wenge. Hand whisks were replaced in bakeries and in many homes by motorized mixers starting around 1920. In many homes today stiff hard wire whisks in Danish and French styles are still used. I saw a new handmade wenge whisk on sale for $50. Pretty expensive. I don’t know how old this one is. I saw a picture of a heavy elaborately carved one from the Roman era. None remain from Pompeii bakeries. Incidentally the romans used grape skins to provide the yeast for the leavening of their baked goods.
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.)