Scandinavian Cultural Center, Pacific Lutheran University
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Butter mold (smørstaup) in stave construction (smøreske) with burnt decoration. Pressing the tip of heated irons, often decoratively cut, into wood is the most common method of ornamenting small Norwegian wood objects. The interior of butter molds like this one were made by carving designs in reverse to stand out in relief on molded butter. Mold decoration must be incised to leave patterns in relief. Initials are frequent motifs. Large butter molds were not uncommon because butter represented the wealth of the farm. Custom also required that what was put out on Christmas Eve should last the entire holiday season. This butter mold dates back to the early 19th century and comes from Nordfjord in Norway. Donor: Marie Berglund.