Chatterbox

author: unknown

place of origin: Kwidzyn

time of creation: 19th century

material: oak wood

technique: handicraft

dimensions: 38 cm x 20.5 cm (not including the handle)

former inventory number: W. Pr. 809

date of loss of the monument: World War II

The Chatterbox is made of oak wood. It consisted of a vertical spar on which a high rack was mounted and a frame with a board in the center was attached to it perpendicularly . There was a profiled handle at the bottom of the spar. The rattling sound coming from the device was, depending on the need, a recall or deterrent signal.

The described chatterbox belonged to the town of Kwidzyn and was used there. It was transferred to the museum in 1925, probably in the form of a deposit, along with several other items, including to the night watch. The annotation about the type of message was placed only next to the last of the mentioned objects. The estimated value of the Chatterbox was then 3 Deutsche Mark.

Although the monument with the number W. Pr. 809 has not survived in the Kwidzyn museum collections, another slightly larger chatterbox of a similar structure, although in a more severe form, has survived in the facility. It does not have a separate handle. It was registered under the number W. Pr. 1273 (now MK / E / 8) and acquired in Rusinów in the 1920s. It was entered in the inventory book as a large wooden chatterbox.

The Chatterboxes have a long tradition and a wide range of applications. Already from the Middle Ages, they were used during Holy Week, replacing church bells. They were used in Jewish and Christian rituals. During caroling, they helped to strengthen the noise. They were used in cities by gravediggers and night guards. Moreover, beaters used them to scare the game away during hunting. Therefore, they were used on various occasions. They are now counted among the folk musical instruments. Most often, however, they can be found among children’s toys or in the hands of fans during football matches. Simple to build, extremely functional and noisy, they have accompanied people for centuries.

(compiled by J. Jezierska)

Inventory book of Heimatmuseum Westpreussen, p. 69, item 809.

Chatterbox (inv. MK/E/8).

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