Description:Burnishing tool with an head made of agate, a semi-precious form of silica.
Used in pottery making to enhance the appearance of fired gold decoration.
After firing, the gold decoration would be dull.
The gold was wiped with a moist abrasive powder called silver sand. It was then rubbed with a burnishing tool to give it a brilliant finish.
The tool is light, slender, has a pointed working tip and is roughly 12cm in length. It is ideal for getting into small recesses.
This burnisher was used to burnish soup toureen knobs.
This is one of 65 burnishing tools belonging to Mrs Elsie Brunt, born Rawlinson, who started work at 13 as a gold burnisher.
She worked at Spode, Carlton, Grimwade's and finally Wedgwood's at Barlaston in 1954.
The tools are marked with her brand, which is an 'X' with two dots.
They are marked because burnisher's had to buy their own tools, which were expensive.
A mark rather than initials was also used so that the woman could pass on or sell the tools.
Taken from the Gladstone Pottery Museum Tools Collection.
This object is now part of the collections at Stoke-on-Trent Museums.