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Nutcracker (?)

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Two nearly identical curved pieces arranged like pliers and held together with a rivet. Cast and chased. The handles, which taper gradually toward the ends, are hexagonal in section; the one remaining has a loop near its end showing a female head with hair in a chignon beneath a crispine....

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1939, found at Lille, France and acquired by M. Geezen, Lille; March 5, 1939, sold by Geezen to Henri Garnier, Lille; July 28, 1939, sold by Garnier to the Brummer Gallery, New York (stock no. P16017); May 12, 1949, Brummer sale, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, lot 358, to the MFA for $180. (Accession Date: May 12, 1949) NOTES: [1] This was purchased together with MFA accession no. 49.478.

Credit Line

William Francis Warden Fund

Northern European, Medieval (Gothic), late 14th–15th century

Object Place

North France, France


15 x 3.7 x 1.4 cm (5 7/8 x 1 7/16 x 9/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

One half latten (78.4% copper, 15.5% zinc, 4.6% lead, 1.5% tin); one half brass (82.9% copper, 14.6% zinc, 2.5% lead)