SUGGESTIONS for our curiosity in last week’s Craven Herald have ranged from a toilet to an inkwell.

The toilet (and inkwell) suggestion from Anne Lindsay, of Steeton, did cause some humour, given its likeness to one, but splinters aside, any guess is welcome.

In fact the curiosity sits in the Folly Museum of North Craven Life, in Settle, and it transpires that it is, in fact, a beautifully crafted wooden salt box.

Honorary curator Ann Read provided us with a full and detailed description of this quirky object and a relic of days gone by when salt was an expensive commodity and was handled with care and respect.

No self-respecting householder would allow it to be wasted or allowed to get damp.

She said: “As we all know, it is important to keep salt dry, especially in a wooden container like this one.

“When we first acquired this box it contained remnants of damp salt which had caused the vertical bands of contrasting wood to swell and spring apart.

“Salt storage boxes, which are typically made of pottery or wood, were hung close to the fire or stove, so that the contents were kept dry and always to hand for cooking or dairy work.

“Until large-scale commercial production took over, salt was a valuable commodity and was always an important component of the loads transported by packhorse to supply our local markets in Craven.”

This week we have another unusual item, and again a photograph has been kindly loaned to us by the museum.

We can’t really give you any clues about this object without giving the game away, and welcome all suggestions from, readers.

If you think you may know what it is, or perhaps have seen one in use and can tell us more about it, drop us an email by 8am on Monday to and we will reveal its identity.