This is a finely made hand wrought iron apple roaster. It has a turned wood handle which would keep hands from being in contact with hot metal.
The handle is turned wood with a small hole in the end where a piece of leather or other cord could be run through it so that the roaster could be hung up from a hook. There is a brass collar that fits over the juncture between the wooden handle and the shaft of the roaster. The iron part of the roaster begins in a single tapered cylindrical shaft that branches into three parts that parallel each other like the tines of a fork. The outer two sections of iron curve at the ends. The curved ends function to prevent the distal central hinged section from flopping back too far one way or the other.The apple would be placed on the four prongs at one end of that central hinged section. We have not seen another apple roaster like this one so we are speculating on the method of its use. From examining it and seeing how the hinged section works, we have concluded that the curved ends allow the hinged section to be positioned at a right angle to allow the roasting of the apple in one position followed by the removal of the apple in the other position without dropping the apple into the fire.
The apple roaster is estimated to have been made in the early nineteenth century but may have been made as early as the late eighteenth century. It measures 19 3/8 inches long when extended to its maximum length. When the hinged section is at a right angle to the rest of the roaster, it measures 14 1/4 inches in length.
The turned wood handle measures 1 1/4 inch in diameter at its widest point. The exterior more easily accessible flat areas of the steel appear to have been polished or cleaned after use. There are still the marks of use and age that one expects to see on antique metal so that is why we have concluded that any polishing of it was done at the time that it was in use. It is in excellent condition with beautiful patina on the wood of the handle.It is quite a beautiful example of the skill of a blacksmith and a rare example of an early tool that would have been used at the fireplace. There is no makers mark. It is most likely either American or English. This item is inventory #7138. Is an estimate and the actual cost may differ. The item "19th CENTURY FINELY MADE HAND WROUGHT IRON & WOOD APPLE ROASTER, LOVELY PATINA" is in sale since Wednesday, January 23, 2019. This item is in the category "Antiques\Home & Hearth\Hearth Ware". The seller is "imajgin" and is located in Lampeter, Pennsylvania. This item can be shipped worldwide.