Learn about Nutmeg Grater

With the rise of the British East India Company in the early 1600s spices of all kinds were imported into Britain from the Far East. One of these was nutmeg which as well as being an exotic flavouring for food, was also used for medicinal purposes (it was supposed to cure stomach ailments, headaches and fever), as an incense and as a fumigant.

The Dutch East India company had a monopoly on the import of nutmeg into Europe, and consequently it was a very expensive spice. The monopoly lasted until in 1769, a French horticulturalist smuggled some trees out of the Indonesian Banda islands, and soon after nutmeg trees were growing in Malaysia, Singapore India and the West Indies.

This enabled the monopoly of the Dutch to be broken, and the British East India Trading Company to import nutmeg into Britain. With supplies more plentiful, its use became more popular and from the late 1700s, nutmeg graters were produced for dispensing the nutmeg.

Due to the expense of nutmeg it was only affordable by the very wealthy, and as it had to be freshly ground, they carried a personal supply with them, and from about 1775, a nutmeg grater to dispense it. more...
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A George III silver nutmeg grater, oval form, hinged lid; Jw, Birmingham, 1806. Weight 22g.

A collection of three Georgian silver nutmeg graters one Peter Carter, London 1787, one Charlies Rawlings London 1818 and one Samuel Pembenton, Birmingham 1798 64gms (total weight) 3 cm-5 cm long

A rare George III sterling silver nutmeg grater, 1818 Birmingham, with maker's mark for Samuel Pemberton, of petite cylindrical form with horizontal ribs and bands to rim and base, surmounted by a domed lid; hallmarked to the removable base. Silver weight

A George III sterling silver nutmeg grater maker's mark John Reily / London /, circa 1816, engine turned 34grs. Total weight of silver 4 cm wide

A George III silver nutmeg grater, egg form, engraved decoration, the screw thread top revealing the original grater grill. Unmarked

A George III silver egg form nutmeg grater, the screw lid revealing the pierced steel grater. London circa 1790, the maker probably John Touliet. Length 2.5 cm

A George III silver oval nutmeg grater, engraved with an armorial of a gent holding a large quill above 'I Mean Well' to the ribbon, punched border, fine border detail to the sides, conforming decoration to the hinged lid face, original steel grater. Londo

A Georgian period silver nutmeg grater of barrel shape, maker's mark SM, probably Samuel Meriton. Faults. Length 3.5 cm

A Victorian silver nutmeg grater modelled in the manner of a walnut, half hinged and opening to reveal a punched steel grater. Birmingham 1884 by George Unite.

A Victorian sterling silver nutmeg grater maker's mark rubbed, Birmingham, circa 1853, modelled in the form of a nut embossed with fruit, 20grs. Weight of silver, 4 cm wide

A fine William IV sterling silver nutmeg grater by Ip, possibly John Pringle, Perth 1830 of oval form, with engraved monogram to the hinged cover, opening to the grater, 5.5 cm wide, 3.5 cm deep, 2.5 cm high

Two George III sterling silver nutmeg graters by Thomas Phipps & Edward Robinson, London 1810 and 1811, including one with engraved initial 'H' surmounted by an eagle's head, the other with a shell and foliate surmount and gadrooned sides, together with a

Rare silver George II nutmeg grater with embossed decoration in egg form (Viewed by Stanley Lipscombe 1967)

Silver nutmeg grater French & English marks (alteration) possibly C1800

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