It’s not just butchers who dream of these vintage meat slicers

There is nothing you can’t collect. Even antique flywheel slicers have a worldwide fan base, provided they were made by legendary Dutch butcher and inventor Wilhelmus Adrianus van Berkel…

In 1898, an extremely sensitive hand was needed to cut one’s Parma or serrano ham into wafer-thin slices. But this all changed when Wilhelmus Adrianus van Berkel invented the flywheel slicer. From then on, cold cuts practically sliced themselves, even after the third or fourth glass of Prosecco. Not only did van Berkel's slicing machine carve better than the butcher’s on the corner, it looked damn good doing it, too. It did not take long for the flywheel slicer to become an integral instrument of every restaurant and deli around. The fact that the guillotine slicer has just risen into popularity proves that the Berkel flywheel slicer is one of the top 20th-century design icons. Renowned American auction house Wright recognises their collector value and will auction off 20 Berkel Slicer Machines on 9 February, in Chicago. The estimates are between 3,000 and 15,000 US dollars, depending on size and equipment (ham joint not included).