Kleiekotzer

'Kleiekotzer' (bran puker)

Reportedly from Murten (Fribourg), ca. 1770
oak carved and painted (not original), mounted on an oak board, initials ISH HR at the top edge
height with board 60 cm, width 45.5 cm
Inv. 1896.197.b.

Resolution:
3785px x 4822px

CHF 40.00

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The 'Kleiekotzer' or bran puker - a wooden mask with wide open mouth - is a decorative feature of many grain mills. Above the two millstones there is an inverted wooden box to guide the grain and prevent it from being scattered around the stones. To obtain white flour the ground product, consisting of flour, semolina and bran (outer skin of the grain with valuable vitamins and trace elements) has to be sieved, to separate the flour from the bran. Up to the C16 this laborious task was done by hand, and white flour was therefore an expensive product not widely used. About 1500 the bolt mechanism was invented, whereby the sieving was done mechanically by the mill. The flour was fed into a tubular inclined bag of very fine material (flour silk). Through constant shaking of the bag the fine flour fell into a wooden box, while the coarse bran was ejected from the end of the bag through the mouth of the bran puker into the bran trough. According to popular belief the grimacing face could drive away evil spirits.

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