Wafer Irons

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These wafer irons were used to bake wafers (including communion wafers); see the Velislav Picture Bible (c. 1340), a Fastnacht sketch by Hieronymus Bosch, or St. Wenzel (1509) for a demonstration of their use.

Historic Food: Wafer Making includes some recipes, and examples of wafers made from early modern irons. More notes can be found at Stefan's Florilegium, and Coquinaria. (See also These Beautiful Medieval Wafer Presses Are Where Waffles Come From.)

  • Several references to wafers in Le Menagier de Paris, c. 1393
  • Wafer-iron (Gruuthusemuseum 0.130.XIV) with heraldry on one side and geometric patterns on the other, c. 1430
  • Wafer-iron (Gruuthusemuseum XII.89) with the Agnus Dei on one side and heraldry on the other, c. 1430-1477
  • Wafer iron (V&A M.443-1924) with heraldry and inscriptions, possibly made for a wedding, made in Umbria in 1481
  • Tak þe leues of spourge and a gud porcion of zucre, gynger, & flour of whete mele, & mak paste & bake it in oble yryns.

    The Thornton Medical Book
    (Liber de diversis medicinis)

  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 1195) with two allied coats of arms on one side and one coat of arms on the other, c. 1511
  • Shrovetide scene with wafer-maker, Hieronymus Bosch; engraving based on this scene by a c. 1567 follower
  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 8284) with a pelican, eagle, lion, and fish, 1531
  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 9286) with two allied coats of arms, 1531
  • Wafer iron (V&A M.454-1924) from 16th century Italy
  • Wafer iron (Met 37.190.3) made in 16th century Umbria
  • Wafer iron (Cl.353;F353) made in 16th century France
  • A wafer-iron (Cluny SN13) with a coat of arms on one side and a rondel on the other, 16th century
  • Wafer iron (Ecouen ECL18718)
  • Wafer-iron (Musée d'art religieux et d'art mosan cat. Puraye n° 396) with the Annunciation on one side and the Agnus Dei on the other, 16th century
  • Peasants by the Hearth by Pieter Aertsen, 1560s
  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 10.431) with Chrisdof Hinkerskhiercher and his wife Ursula on one side, a coat of arms on the other, 1561
    Take a pinte of cream & heat it luke warme, & mix it in a basin with 2 pound of flowre, to wch you must add halfe a quarter of a pinte of youlks of eggs beaten. but before you mix in ye eggs, you must put in A spoonful of thick yeast, & too this, halfe a pound of fresh butter melted, & a little salt. allsoe put in some nutmegg; cinnamon, & mace beaten, & some naple bisket grated; dissolve a little ambergreece in rosewater & put in. yn lay a spoonful on yr tongues & bake ym, but before, you must let ym stand 2 houres in ye chimney corner to rise.

    Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery
    and Booke of Sweetmeats

  • A wafer-iron (GNM HG 11.160) with heraldry on one side, 1564
  • Wafer-iron (Musée d'art religieux et d'art mosan cat. Puraye n° 395) with the Annunciation and Nativity on one side and the Adoration of the Magi on the other, 1565
  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 10.432) with the baptism of Christ, 1571
  • January, 16th century
  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 1198) with heraldry, inscribed "JACOB VON FALCKENSTAIN" on one side and "MARIA MADALENA VON FALCKENSTAIN ZU REIN" on the other, 1580
  • Wafer-iron (GNM HG 1200) with heraldry symbolizing the alliance between the Volckamer and Haller families of Nuremburg, 1594
  • Wafer-iron with the Nativity on one side and a rose on the other, c. 1600
  • Still Life with Wafers (Le Dessert de Gaufrettes) by Lubin Baugin, 1630s
  • Wafer irons (Bunratty 175) from the late 17th century