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Unique Auction of Antique Kitchenalia

The background and some highlights of the Robert Deeley Collection of Antique Kitchenalia that will go under the hammer on 11th/12th July 2022 in Exeter and Online.

A Glass and Metal Mounted Family Butter Churn (SS9/1) offered in our Sale of Antique
        Kitchenalia, starting on 11th July 2022 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

A Glass and Metal Mounted Family Butter Churn (SS9/1) offered in our Sale of Antique Kitchenalia, starting on 11th July 2022 at our salerooms in Exeter, Devon.

The collection was formed over the lifetime of the well-known and highly respected antiques dealer, Robert Deeley.

Robert loved everything about cooking and the utensils used in medieval times. From a child he started collecting and this passion grew over a lifetime. The collection was greatly extended over the past thirty years when Robert acquired a chateau in the South of France, which had been originally owned by Simon de Montfort. The 12th Century building had a cavernous kitchen, with an equally cavernous open fireplace to either side and was well suited to the collection.

Robert loved the searching, researching and restoring of items, but most of all using them. The extensive hoard includes cauldrons, lark spits, kettle stands and grisset pans.

In the magnificent medieval kitchen, he would cook over the two fires most evenings, everything from a whole pig to venison casseroles and even a delicious vanilla cake on a spit. He made frequent visits with his wife Melanie to the Vide Greniers (markets) in France to find something unusual. One day he drove up into the Pyrenees where he found a shepherd with his sheep and goats. Robert sat on a boulder for a couple of hours asking him how he lived, cooking over a fire with implements not seen in modern times.

In the collection, you will be able to bid for a glass gudgeon trap (a gudgeon being a small freshwater fish) or maybe you would prefer an eel prong. For the carnivorous purchasers, there is a good selection of toasting and flesh forks, dating from the 17th to 19th Centuries, and if you are thinking of doing a hog roast this month, there is a 19th Century butcher's pig hoist on offer. If you wish to relive farming days of old then you can bid for a couple of wooden shoulder yokes, used to carry the milk from cow to dairy.

Amongst the roasting spits, there is a very rare 17th Century brass and iron spit engine and an equally rare spit for roasting larks or small birds, a delicacy in France in days gone by. Amongst the novelty items is a 19th Century flour dispenser in the shape of a wheelbarrow and if you are thinking of making your own chocolate soldiers, there is a 19th Century wooden mould in the form of a soldier. You can also deter mice from the kitchen with a 19th Century oak drop weight mousetrap or if you want the ultimate bell to rouse everyone in the morning, there are two wooden subre jougs (Pyrenean bells carried by oxen) to be offered.

The auction will be held on Monday, 11th July 2022 and Tuesday, 12th July 2022.


  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Deeley Collection
  • Kitchenalia

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