The dough would be kneaded on the counter top and then placed inside the trough or box to rise. Several batches of dough would be kept to rise while the cooks used the top to continue with their food preparations.
In this day and age, it seems like these things may not be of much use. But when I saw this piece with its original hardware and beautiful patina on the French oak wood base, I knew I had to have it for my collection. Personally, I see various modern uses for it, including a console, kitchen island, blanket chest, TV console, or even to place a vessel sink on top and use as a vanity. I even think that it would be great to line it in copper and use it as a big ice cooler to put beers or sodas and have it outside in a gorgeous patio for parties.
Take a look at what someone did with it for their home in New Orleans. Isn't this clever and beautiful and so very unique?
(photo from Big, Easy Style by Bryan Batt)
What other uses can you see for it?
For this and other interesting antiques, please visit me at www.disegnoKarinaGentinetta.1stdibs.com