When kitchen and farm tools were more than just functional
  • Giving your kitchen a country charm
  • A bounty of old hand tools that will Wow! you
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    Auction Finds

    Kitchen tools for tiny hands & a country kitchen

    The tools looked like any others you’d see in a vintage kitchen: rolling pins, hand mixers, ceramic mixing bowls, sad irons, meat grinders.

    But one thing stood out about them. Most were one-third the size of normal tools. They were all mini tools that had once been offered for sale in an antiques and collectibles shop. A local auction house was selling the leftovers from the shop outside the owners’ home, which had been sold the day before. One auction-goer said the shop was located in what had been the family’s garage. That didn’t seem right because the garage looked much too small to hold all the items at auction, which included the table with the mini kitchen tools and several others.

    The auction house had set up the tables in front of the garage and in a side yard, and a large group of us had come to see what we could find of value. At least one couple came for personal reasons. “We’re not here to sell,” the man pointed out. “We have an old house.” They bought a beautiful hand-crafted three-pronged wooden rake that bore the engraved name of its maker. It looked to have been recently made and was unused.

    mini kitchen tools

    A display of mini meat grinders.

    The mini tools were perfect for a home decorated in a country style. In fact, photos on the auction house website showed that the owners of the antiques shop had filled their own home with many of the same types of items – along with antique furniture, some of which was also for sale.

    One dealer arrived late to the auction, saying he had no interest in the country kitsch because it does not sell well. You wouldn’t know that based on how readily the items on the table sold and for how much.

    I must say that in their smallness, the items  were actually rather cute – even though they beckoned to a time when house work was a chore.

    Here’s a sampling of them:

    mini kitchen tools

    An array of mini hand mixers, and at right, four candle snuffers/wick trimmers.


    mini kitchen tools

    Three tin boilers and a coal bucket. At right is the label on the boiler in front.



    mini kitchen tools

    Small ceramic mixing bowls and jug.



    A group of large and small sad irons (which were heated on a stove for ironing), along with some stone inkwells and trivets.


    mini kitchen tools

    Some large and small rolling pins. The second rolling pin from the right is a Springerle.


    mini kitchen tools

    A full-sized coffee grinder dwarfs a mini grinder.

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