This year Grey-Harris & Co will be exhibiting well over 500 nutmeg graters from around the world, substantially in silver, gold, enamel and treen, with the addition of the illustrated reference book, ‘Nutmeg, Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes’, by Dr John Reckless. Containing over 4000 photographers and associated information on the history of the nutmeg grater, it will be available for reference during the exhibition. The book, over 10 years in the writing, follows the author’s quarter of a century collection.
This is a rare opportunity for the public to view such an important collection of graters, pomanders and ephemera drawn from private collections, many not previously exhibited. It’s especially interesting as the nutmeg and the grater have such a fascinating history. Once, nutmeg was worth its weight in gold. For much of human history, the tiny Banda Islands in the deep oceans of eastern Indonesia were the only source of this esteemed spice. During the 16th century apothecaries used it extensively as a basis for many remedies. By the 17th century its use as a spice in drinks and food became fashionable. Nutmeg was often carried in pocket-sized silver containers, equipped with a grater so it could be added to punch.
This free exhibition will be running from 7th-22nd October 2022, 10am – 4pm. 1st floor gallery of Grey-Harris & Co. 12 Princess Victoria Street, Clifton Street, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 4BP. Admission free – numbers will be limited, although pre-booked entry can be arranged.