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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

BED WARMING PANS



One of the most interesting articles for the collector of brass and copper is the warming pan. Warming pans are quite plentiful and reasonable in price. English, Dutch, and American warming pans are to be seen in shops today and except for the rare marked piece it is hard to distinguish one from another. Early Elizabethan and early American warming pans had wroughtiron handles. Warming pans are listed in old New York inventories as early as 1730, but the material is not designated. However, the early ones were probably of brass rather than copper because copper was more scarce. However, in 1744 John Halden, brazier from London, advertised in the .Neu: York Weekly Post-Boy: "Makes and sells all sorts of Copper and Brass Kettles, Tea Kettles, Coffee Pots, Pye Pans, Warming Pans and all other sorts of Copper and Brass Ware." An early American warming pan of chased brass with a hand-wrought iron handle is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and there is also a brass warming pan with a handle of turned applewood, made by Revere & Son. Other early turned handles on brass and copper warming pans were of ash or oak. While most warming pans were either of copper or brass, some were made with a combination of the two metals, such as a brass bottom with a copper lid, and some crude warming pans were made of tin. The most interesting feature of the warming pan was the chased and pierced pattern on the cover. The designs included flowers, leaves, birds, and geometric patterns. A favorite design was the tulip, which is found on both the Dutch and the Pennsylvania Dutch. Another design was a conventional flower made up of circles, scrolls, and rayed lines; leaves and dots are also arranged in patterns. The open perforations are usually arranged in a geometric pattern. While few warming pans were marked those found marked include such makers as Revere & Son, Boston; Hunneman, Boston; and A.D. Richmond, New Bedford. Old warming pans show smoke marks inside, and the joint between the handle and pan is usually loose and the engraving worn. When the handles are turned the knobs are often light-colored from wear.



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