Mystery Object 450: Wall Wonder

Roosters are a clue!

Size: Serving Platter

Recorded: November, 2016

Found: MV Veendam

Circa:  19th Century

Made: Indonesia

Material: Wood, Paint

Status: Known

Cruise ships have many hidden treasures, and this is one. Though it is is currently an objet d’art, it once provided a much needed service.

These are still used today in parts of the world, in fact, I used to own one, or rather four when I was living in New Hampshire. Mine were hand-made, and nowhere near as decorative as this.

You could classify this as a medical device, as its sole purpose was to keep people healthy. And it’s extremely effective.

Hint 1:

Spoiler

Why did they decorate it the way they did?

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Hint 2: 

Spoiler

The decoration is purely a function of this being on display in a decorated area of the home.

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Answer:

Spoiler

It’s a mosquito net holder. Once it was understood that diseases like malaria were spread by insects, mosquito nets became the widespread solution. And if you’re going to have something hanging on the wall in your bedroom, why not make it decorative? This was probably owned by a wealthy person.

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Do you have a mystery object you’d like to share? Whether you know what it is or not, we’d like to hear from you! Drop us a line at jeff@collegeofcuriosity.com.

  Click for larger images

Slightly different angle.

Fancy paint for the time period.

 

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