A group of early European Pastry Jiggers

Submitted by, and copyright of, Michael Finlay.

Material: Copper alloy, wrought iron
Dimensions: Various: see main text
Place of Origin: Various: see main text
Date: 16th and 17th century
Maker or Retailer: Unknown
Present Location: Private collections


Pastry jaggers, originally so-called because they usually have a wheel to allow the pastrycook to cut the pastry with a jagged edge, are now more commonly referred to as jiggers; they may also have other stamps, known as prints, or cutters, for the decoration of pastry.  The vast majority of surviving jiggers are the work of brass-founders, cast in brass, bronze or other copper alloys, often cast in separate parts and assembled either by riveting or by means of screw threads.  Much rarer are those of wrought-iron, requiring a completely different set of skills, those of the blacksmith. Some jiggers have fixed cutters or prints for the impression of designs such as leaf forms, flowers etc.; others have sprung crimpers.

a.  An Italian copper-alloy “Sperone da pasticiero”, also known in France as a “Coq de Patissier”, late 16th century, 14. 8 cm / 5 ¾ in;
b.  Another Italian copper-alloy jigger of “Coq” form, late 16th century, 14.2 cm / 5 ⅝ in;
c.  A rare Sicilian bronze figural double-wheeled jigger, late 16th/early 17th century, 18 cm / 7 ⅛ in;
d.  An English brass jigger with finely facetted stem, and scoop-shaped arced cutter, 17th century, 14. 2 cm / 5 ⅝ in;
e.  An Italian brass jigger with double baluster handle, 17th century, 12 cm / 4 ¾ in;
f.  (and detail) A Dutch brass jigger, its finial a half-length figure of a pastrycook in Guild attire, mid 17th century, 14 cm / 5 ½ in;
g.  An English latten combined spoon and jigger, late 17th century, 14.8 cm / 5 ¾ in;
h.  An English copper-alloy jigger, late 17th century, 12.5 cm / 5 in;
i.  A rare wrought-iron jigger with flower-form cutter, late 17th century, 16.7 cm / 6 ½ in;
j.  An English brass jigger with roundel decoration and sprung crimpers, late 17th/early18th century, 19.2 cm / 7 ½ in.


  • Scappi, Bartolomeo, Opera, Venice, 1570. Available in facsimile reprint, Lighting Source, U.K., Ltd., ISBN 978 1 174933 41 7.
  • Finlay, Michael, Pastry Jiggers and Pastry Prints, Plains Books, 2014, ISBN 978 1 872477 03 9

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