This “What am I?” Quiz Will Stump You
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What am I? -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl,
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
What am I?

I took this photo today of a chunk of wood about the size of a footstool, but not a footstool. It has a very specific use. Unlike many of my “What am I?” quizzes, the image Exif data will likely be of no use for this one. What is it?

All 9 comments so far, oldest first...

Molds for something? Jeff, “Footstool” is one word.

— comment by Grandma Friedl in Ohio, USA on May 7th, 2011 at 11:19pm JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

It’s a set of moulds used for beating copper into a specific type of dish or bowl.

— comment by Derek on May 8th, 2011 at 1:11am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

I’m thinking it might be jig/former for hammering sheet metal into bowl shapes.

— comment by Steve Crane on May 8th, 2011 at 1:12am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

A pure guess, but something round, or spherical needs to be steadied whilst it’s being worked on, or maybe carved?

So my guess is a carver’s ball steadier 😉

— comment by Owin Thomas on May 8th, 2011 at 1:23am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

Hmmm …
Someone needs a special support to beat sheet metal into hollow shapes, possibly drinking vessels? (No idea how that process is properly called in either English or Japanese …)

— comment by Andreas Weber on May 8th, 2011 at 2:03am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

Looks like a dapping block that jewelry makers use to shap metal discs into domed shapes.

— comment by (Ms.) Ernie on May 8th, 2011 at 8:48am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

I keep comming back to this one trying to figure out what it is. My guess would be a fixture used by an artisan for holding different size round objects (posibility pottery) while they are being worked on. 🙂

— comment by Casey on May 10th, 2011 at 1:03am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

Certainly not correct, but this could be used as a tool for grinding primitive lenses. Did it belong to Galileo?

Writing from Texas but have a daughter arriving in Japan with the JET Programme this summer.

— comment by Galen on May 10th, 2011 at 8:28am JST (8 years ago) comment permalink

Holy cow, I posted the answer (here) almost a month ago, but forgot to push the various guesses live until now. Sorry!

— comment by Jeffrey Friedl on June 4th, 2011 at 3:39am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink
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