Olivewood Pique à Olive

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Here is a marvelous little tool to add a bit of graciousness to cocktail hour appetizers. Deftly claim olives, cornichons, or other comestibles with this petite pick made of olivewood.

Possible Provenance

I've always wondered who developed the Pique à Olive. Was it a resourceful restauranteur or a clever mother in the olive growing region in the south of France?  

Perhaps not. My current theory (unsubstantiated) is that this tool originated in North Africa and not France, and here's why:  Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia were French colonies or protectorates from the mid 19th until the mid 20th century; all three regions are known for olive growing, and most of the world's olivewood utensils come from Tunisia. The most compelling argument might be that tulips are an important symbol in Islamic art, the flowers sometimes shown with four stylized crescent-shaped petals forming the word "Allah". I found a particularly lovely example here. One look at the business end of this clever tool, and the connection seems obvious. If there are any scholars of Islamic art or artifacts out there that can shed light on this, I'd be obliged.

Key Facts

  • Single piece carved in a fanciful, functional tulip shape
  • Approximately 6” long
  • Sustainably sourced olivewood
  • Imported from North Africa
  • Each piece is unique

How to care for your olivewood

Keep your olive wood in good condition. Please hand wash (do not soak) and hand dry.  For maintenance, treat wood with mineral oil or wood butter. This will enhance the grain, seal the wood from moisture, and prevent cracking. We do not recommend using cooking oil for treatment because it will become rancid. For more information about olivewood and its care see our posts.

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Great item

Excellent service and priducts