What the heck is this thing?
November 1, 2016 2:48 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend, really. Here it is, with a ruler for scale. Metal, iron, but not cast iron I don't think, weighs a pound-ish. We think it might be a paperweight, or maybe some kind of printers tool? She bought it at an estate sale in the Twin Cities Metro.
posted by Ecgtheow to Grab Bag (12 answers total)
Meat tenderizer? Normally they have long handles, but I have a pampered chef one that is shaped like this.
posted by sparklemotion at 2:55 PM on November 1, 2016

Meat tenderizer.
posted by oceanmorning at 2:56 PM on November 1, 2016

Is it just flat on the bottom? Or some kind of design like a stamp? Maybe the stamp part fell off.
posted by Neekee at 2:57 PM on November 1, 2016

It really looks like a thing I'm planning to buy which is a weight you can put on your sandwich when it is on the grill.
posted by mumimor at 3:02 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

My money is on paperweight, specifically "Antique Cast Iron Decorative Desk Paperweight - Rectangle" (link to Google image search results)

The item in question reminds me of a less ornate version of this one.
posted by mosk at 3:07 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Huh.... it looks like maybe it could be part of a check protector?
posted by sparklemotion at 3:19 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Is the bottom flat or is there a groove/lip under there?

If so, it could be the lid of something heavy duty.
posted by porpoise at 3:22 PM on November 1, 2016

Thanks for the ideas all!
The bottom is not indented around the edges at all, just has those pyramid shapes all over it.

I like the idea of a meat tenderizer, like for veal or something. I hadn't thought about that before.
But, I think paperweight might be the unromantic but correct answer, like mosk suggested.

Maybe I'll tell her it's the lid from a butter urn that was on the Titanic, or that it rode with General Grant in his saddlebag as a talisman of some kind, but he used as a paperweight, too.

You know, punch the story up a bit.

AskMe does it again!
posted by Ecgtheow at 3:40 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

My grandpa had similar weights he used to keep large pieces of leather flat and to help glue adhere evenly. He was a packrat and not all of his tools were originally for the purpose he used them, but if it's flat on the bottom I'd wager it's a weight for materials heavier than paper.
posted by neonrev at 3:45 PM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

A steak weight (to press meat down on the grill) is another possibility. This one has the same bumps on the bottom as yours.
posted by MsMolly at 5:20 PM on November 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

For those speculating about flat bottom / grooved bottom, there's a second photo at the link, showing the bottom. Scroll down.

It does resemble a meat tenderizer, but those usually work with heavy impact, which would be difficult to apply with this. I'm thinking maybe it's for texturing paper, food, or leather.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:21 AM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding steak weight.
posted by monospace at 10:54 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

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