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Pie birds, also called pie funnels, pie ventilators, pie cups, or pie chimneys, are small ceramic or glass kitchen tools used to vent steam when baking pies. After a dish is lined with pastry crust, the funnel is placed into the center, the filling is added, and the top crust is molded around the figurine. While baking, the hollow center of the pie bird allows steam to escape the filling and prevents juices from overflowing in the oven.
This Royal Worcester pie bird was designed in 1950 by Paul Gertner, it comes in the original box. The funnel and the blackbird are two separate pieces. The directions printed inside the box explain how they are used (third photo). Basically, the funnel (white part) is placed in the middle of a pie crust and steam escapes through the top during baking so the juices remain inside the pie. The bird is ornamental and is placed on top of the funnel after baking so that it is prettier when serving the pie.
The bird is approximately 4 inches long
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