Wooden Plate

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This plate is from my father’s parents. I can only speculate on its origins. It could be contemporary with my grandparent’s time, the early 1900s, or it could date back further[1]. Prior to the emergence of the toy industry in their home town, Sonneberg, in the 1880s, the area had a thriving woodcraft industry, so this might go back to that period. But that is just conjecture.

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The fact that it is a plate specialized for bread might point to the importance of that food in their lives, but again, that’s a guess. The reference to the Lord’s Prayer suggests some level of religious observance, on their part. However, the wear on the plate surface, the chip and crack suggest the plate was used, and not just for ceremonial purposes (as was often the case). Having said that, my father’s side of the family seemed to hold more interest in dumplings.

[1]: The use of wooden bread plates inscribed with “Gib uns Heute unser täglich Brot” has a long history in Germany and can be traced back to at least the 18th century. The practice of inscribing bread plates with religious or symbolic phrases has deep roots in Christian traditions, reflecting the importance of bread as a symbol of sustenance and divine provision.


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