You never know what you might find at Mother Jones Flea.
By far the best place in town to unearth a unique treasure, the market has now reopened on the corner of Mac Curtain Street and York Street, with every stall stuffed with curious, furniture and vintage clothes.
We dropped by for a poke around over the weekend and the place was heaving with fascinating bits and bobs from times gone by.
Case in point: this bizarre circular rolling pin with enamel handles and a rubbery surface (pictured above) – yours for €40.
When we couldn’t figure out what it was for, we asked our Instagram followers to help us out… and the answer was far more weird and wonderful than we were expecting.
While most people suggested the tool was probably used for baking cakes, rolling pastry or (wildcard) making holy communion hosts, it took a fitness expert to figure out the truth.
Jamie Cronin of Jamie Cronin Fitness got in touch to identify the perplexing contraption; it’s a Punkt Roller, a 1920s ‘slimming aid’ originally invented in Germany.
The makers of the Punkt Roller claimed the device’s suction cups could be rolled over the body to “boost circulation” and “dissolve fatty deposits.” Advertising for the product promised that users would “live ten years longer and become ten years younger”.
Sold in Boots chemists in London 100 years ago, the roller wasn’t cheap, costing 25 shillings to enjoy the “invigorating sensation of fitness”. Sadly it was almost completely useless, although whoever brought it back to Cork probably burned up some calories trying to roll their muffin top into oblivion.
We didn’t purchase this Punkt Roller so it’s ready and waiting if you fancy it. Mother Jones Flea Market is open every weekend, 10am until 6pm.