We get some unusual enquiries but being asked “Do you have any antique truffle digging tools please?” was one of the more bizarre. A prop buyer was sourcing items for a historic drama being filmed in the UK. Unfortunately, it was early January and importing from overseas was a struggle after the end of the Brexit transition period. Knowing that Italy has a remarkable range, Italian for truffle digging tools is “vanghetto tartufi
” and that ebay Italy
has a remarkable range
, they could at least get to see lots of pictures of modern ones. Based on the pictures, they created some from modern garden tools painted to make them look old.
To see some illustrations of some actual such tools from England in the late 19th century, see our article on “The History of English Truffles“. An extract on that page says:
The truffle-hunter is set up in business when he possesses a good dog; all he requires besides will be a short staff, about 2ft. 5in. long, shod with a strong iron point, and at the other end furnished with a two-fanged iron hook. With this implement he can dig the largest truffle, or draw aside the briers or boughs in copse-wood to give his dog free scope to use his nose.
Such a truffle spike can be seen in Salisbury Museum.