A round, hand-carved, wooden bread stamp (prosphora) used to imprint holy bread before baking. The stamp is made of wood.
The main part of the stamp is circular in shape (similar to a miniature frisbee), with a flat stamp side, and a small wooden handle on the other. The flat side is ringed with a hand-carved border, and divided into 9 individually-carved sections.
The small handle has a flat surface on the top, upon which there is a hand-carved border, and four individually-carved square sections for small pieces of bread.
Around the edge of the circular stamp, on the top side, is carved the date "1899" as well as some illegible letters and numbers.
This bread stamp was hand carved in 1899, in Avoros, Fokidos, Greece, by Athanasios Lytras, godson to the donor's grandmother Efthemia Efstathiou. It was then in turn handed down to the donor's mother, Vasiliki Kostopanagiotou who brought it with her to the US in 1946. It was then in turn handed down to the donor's wife, Maria Bovis and has been used in their household until donation to the museum.
The stamp is used to mark the top of holy bread just prior to baking. Each individual square of the carved design has a religious significance. The small stamp on the reverse handle is used to make small, bite-sized pieces for use at the cemetary after a funeral service.
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Prosphora, 1899, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/8535. Accessed 02/24/24.