Wafer Irons

These were used to bake wafers (including communion wafers); see the Velislav Picture Bible (c. 1340) 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.


  • 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
  • TO MAKE EXCELENT WAFERS THE FRENCH WAY
    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