The Baboon

The Baboon

Description:I have an antique hand tool identification request if your up for it see attached photo The Baboon is handsomely engraved the rectangular section has sharp burrs internal to the space which is adjustable...any clues would be appreciated.

Category: Other Tools

Brand: Other Brand Not Listed

Posted By: DBack

Posted On: 08/25/2019 09:27 AM

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I'm convinced this thing is an oyster shucker. It's a way to keep your hand clear of the shells when shucking. "The Baboon" makes sense, because they use tools to open shells for food. The barbs are there to hook any of the shell texture while the handles can clamp with downward pressure. You only hold one of the handles at once, and the other rests on the surface you're working on (It's wood so it doesn't gouge any table/counter tops). The ratchet keeps the shell from shooting out out if you slip the knife in & it causes the shell to shift. The combination of features is highly specialized, such as textured interior but not a grating texture means it's to hold something in place, wood handles that flare out to the point that they can't be used in one hand, the ratcheting to keep it closed to a certain amount, but still requires it to open slightly in order to latch into place (so it's not a consistent compression tool, more a resistance/holding one) which leads toward the user putting pressure on to keep the shell in place while using the shucking knife, then allowing them to release pressure when the knife gets inserted and the shell opened while still being offered resistance from the textured interior, the similarities to other shucking tool geometry is close, and the name is inspired by activities relegated to baboons. The construction using stamped metal instead of all wood means that it requires a decent amount of rigidity for its repeated use... I would be hard pressed to find anything else that matches all of the weirdness that went into this design.
Posted by svanz @ 6/19/2020 8:45 AM

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