Turned wooden bowls have been an elementary part of domestic life during the middle ages. They have been used for drinking, eating, cooking, storing food or for different kinds of craftsmansship. Therefor everyone should have at least one of them.

Many turned bowls were found in the Augustinian Hermitage in Freiburg (Müller). The bowls of Tafel 6 Nr. 9,10,15,18 and Tafel 4 Nr. 14,15,16,17 and Tafel 7 Nr. 9,10 are all dated to the late 13th century.

All bowls are turned from maple and have one or two grooves on the outside. The shape is quite similar across all finds. Also the dimensions with

  • height 3,4cm - 5,8cm
  • edge diameter 11cm-16cm
  • floor diameter 5,6cm - 7,7cm
  • wall thickness 0,48cm - 0,8cm
  • bottom thickness 0,45cm - 1,35cm

do not vary very much. If you paint these measurements on a sheet of paper, you immediately notice that these bowls are quite small by today’s standards. Not to compare with most bowls you can buy today on some medieval market or in a web shop. Therefor I needed to ask a turner to create a bowl (and also a small plate, but more on that i another article) to reproduce a bowl.

This bowl (and the plate in the background) has been turned by Kim Wich-Glasen from http://www.mittelalter-moebel.de/ out of maple according to the historical measurements.

Turned bowl and plate of maple by Kim Wich-Glasen

Turned maple bowl from Kim Wich glasses. Dimensions and shape according to finds from the Augustinian Hermitage in Freiburg

Turned maple bowl from Kim Wich glasses. Dimensions and shape according to finds from the Augustinian Hermitage in Freiburg

Sources

  • Müller, Ulrich. Holzfunde aus Freiburg/Augustinereremitenkloster und Konstanz: Herstellung und Funktion einer Materialgruppe aus dem späten Mittelalter. Stuttgart: Kommissionsverlag Karl Theiss, 1996
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