Cabbage Grater


19th century

Metal and wood

Height: 92.6 cm

The trade signs that have found their way into naïve art collections today are often admired for their nostalgic and almost comical qualities, especially with the numerous examples in this collection of signs that represent oversized objects. There are numerous examples of such in Compton Verney’s collection, including an iron kettle, a giant stamp for a printer’s shop and a pair of pliers or pincers, possibly used to designate a hardware shop.

However, this object – which was bought by Andras Kalman as a shop sign – is in truth a real, functioning object: an immense iron grater which was used to grate cabbages (presumably for sauerkraut). The metal ring at the top suggests it was hung up when not in use.