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Handmade pizza cutter, carved olive wood handle shaped as finger with jewel ring; on mahogany stand with copper and glass fittings. 1925

Lot 1002 Circa 1925

From the estate of Charles Le Strange Esq., D.L., J.P., Lord of the Manor and Principal landowner Hunstanton Hall, Hunstanton, Norfolk, England.

This implement is alleged to have been created at the behest of the author and humorist, P. G. Wodehouse who was a frequent guest at Hunstanton Hall sometime around 1925.

Many literary sources say that the Esquire’s extensive collection of Culinary Arcana, as well as Hunstanton Hall, the ancestral Le Strange home since the 12th century, provided inspiration for several Wodehouse story lines as well as various grand country manor homes featured in his Blandings Castle and Jeeves and Wooster stories.

This curious culinary artifact has a nexus with pizza in that it serves as a MacGuffin (a devise necessary to plot and motivation) in an unpublished Jeeves & Wooster story, The Alternative Slice. According to the plot line it was stolen from the Drones Club by Pongo Twistleton and Gussie Finknottle on the eve of the annual Pizza Gala, but recovered in the nick of time only through the convoluted and cunning machinations of Jeeves, Bertie Wooster’s indomitable valet.

The slicer was commissioned and presented to Esquire Le Strange in gratitude for his hospitality and inspiration to Wodehouse.

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