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Five decorative wood and metal spice graters and boxes on cream cover of 'Nutmeg Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes', by ACC Art Books.

Nutmeg: Graters, Pomanders and Spice Boxes

Luxury and utility from the 16th century to the present day

By (author) John Reckless


  • A substantial, beautifully illustrated guide to the history of nutmeg and its use 
  • Profusely illustrated with pictures of decorative antique graters, pomanders and spice containers 
  • Offers a detailed account of nutmeg in the Spice Islands, the Caribbean, and the West 
  • A vital reference work for collectors, antique dealers and auctioneers
Full Description

Once, nutmeg was worth its weight in gold. For much of human history, the tiny Banda Islands in Indonesia were the only source of this esteemed spice. From the age of the Silk Roads through to the mid-19th century partial shift of production to the Caribbean, covering battles between the Honourable East India Company and the Dutch Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, this book traces the story of nutmeg, revealing its extensive and often surprising influence over conflict, politics, social mores, and Western society.

Beautiful antique silver, gold, enamel, bone, ivory, treen and Tunbridgeware graters and rasps demonstrate how much nutmeg was valued throughout history. This book gathers pictures of some of the finest examples world-wide, alongside mechanical and base metal graters and spice containers. It illustrates, and provides useful information on, the history of pomanders which were associated with nutmeg, as this spice was once thought to ward off pestilence and plague.

Combining the social history of nutmeg with explanations of the spice production and transportation process, and illustrating in detail examples in international nutmeg grater collections and museums, this book is the essential reference work for collectors, antique dealers and auctioneers.

About the Author

John Reckless has held a long-standing interest in antique kitchenalia. His fascination with nutmeg paraphernalia was spurred by the discovery of a cast iron mechanical grater about three decades ago. Collecting and researching nutmeg and graters has given Reckless the opportunity to delve deeper into areas of social and historical interest. 

Look Inside
ACC Art Books
29th Jun 2022
USA & Canada
9.33 in x 11.81 in
312 Pages
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