Hop Sampling Tool

A member has asked if anyone can identify the use of this device.

It is made of iron and measures approximately 16.5 ins (42 cms) in length.  It weighs 3 lbs 10ozs (1.65kg) and has pointed jaws that open a small amount until they become parallel.

Although the tips appear quite sharp, it is not believed to be a weapon of any kind.

Please add a comment to this item, or email the webmaster@antiquemetalwaresociety.org.uk, if you think that you can help identify what this object was used for.


2 Responses

  1. Wilkinson’s Auctioneers oak sale of 29th November, 2015 illustrates a similar item (lot 280) described as ’18th/ 19th century meat roast tongs’. No other details are given, but presumably if correct the tongs were thrust into a large joint of meat in the open position, then closed and used to carry/ stabilise the joint for carving.

  2. Apparently this is an old device used for sampling hops. It operates like a pair of scissors. Growers and dealers used hop samplers to extract a sample from a bale of hops. They judged the quality of the crop and the harvesting process from the sample, and this determined a price for the product.

    Reference: https://www.harvestofhistory.org/primary-sources/hops-picker/

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