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Pizza cutter, handmade: turned ebony handle with a chased copper replica of a lobster claw pinching a rotary cutting wheel; amboina burl stand. 1850

Lot 1010 Circa 1850

The item offered as Lot 1010 is described as one of the earliest examples of a rotary-blade slicer used for cutting pizza. The unique blade configuration and mounting fixture in the form of a lobster “crusher” claw is unprecedented, and a heretofore unknown configuration found among culinary implements.

This pizza slicer is alleged to have belonged to French writer Gerard Nerval who influenced French Romanticism and such future writers as Marcel Proust.

Known for his eccentricities, he kept a pet lobster named Thibault which he was fond of taking for extended walks along the main boulevards of Paris.

As a pizza lover and insatiable romantic, he commissioned this slicer to commemorate his unusual pet and companion.

Unfortunately, Nerval never got to enjoy using this unique implement as he committed suicide by hanging himself with the blue silk cord that he used to tether his beloved Thibault.

His untimely death was a great loss to both literature and the world of culinary equipment innovation.

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