Cauldron’s & Pot Feet….

Like so many of our words, the word Cauldron has its origin in the Latin language, with the term cauldron being derived from caldrius, which means hot…

This is where the word “caldarium” which is a cooking-pot and the Anglo-Norman French cauderon, homogenized into the Middle English word caldron in the fourteenth century…

A cauldron is typically a round pot, made from either an alloy of metals or ceramic, a floor standing cauldron would have had three legs, for support, with its main use for cooking, & these pots were an essential everyday item, throughout the middle ages…
Like everything in life, items appear to be the same but you get what you pay for, these cooking pots were no exception, rich or poor you needed a cooking pot to go over your fire, for the poorer people they had to make do with a fire in one central room, and you had no room for a tripod stand to hang a cauldron from, so you had to make do with a cauldron with feet… Now if the cauldron you purchased was a cheap version, then it would more than likely have been made with a higher lead content, and less tin, which worked fine until you left the cauldron on the fire for too long, the lead alloy would cause the cauldron legs to go brittle through oxidation, which made the copper alloy dissolve, and you would end up with your supper on the floor, hence why so many cauldron legs are found by metal detectorists…


So what where these small medieval cauldrons ? were they toys, or were they intended to be used as a “portion” of a medieval doctors potion… & why in 90% of items found is there only two legs, and the third leg is smoothed off ?…

Record ID; FN1CBN120498…Essex:IMG_8555
Period: MEDIEVAL
Mid-Late Medieval; copper alloy miniature cauldron, Length mm, Width mm; The object is spherical in form and cross section and consists of a rounded vessel with a plain rim. From just underneath the rim one square handle with two small incisions protrude, and curves round to the top of one of the legs, The cauldron has two complete legs, and one incomplete leg, with tiny feet on the end of each of the legs, which are plain and circular; Several different types of Cauldrons exist, & are commonly thought of, as examples of miniature domestic utensils;


Record ID: NH-HG120310;Essex:621121 (2)
Period: POST MEDIEVAL
An complete copper alloy leg, it is a post medieval fragment from a bowl or small dish, with a broad period range of  AD 1500 – 1700. The fragment comprises a leg which is five sided in cross section, tapers down to an outward facing foot and a ridge on the instep, with a flattened off tapered tip and a squared off heal. The fragment is copper alloy but with a possible pewter content as it is quite pale green-grey in colour. Length:  mm, Width:  mm;   I have borrowed this photo, until mine gets here


 

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