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Warming pan

Warming pan

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    17th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Brass, with a brass mounted iron handle, the lid perforated and engraved

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 57, case 1

Object Type
In a period when houses were inadequately heated damp sheets and cold beds were a considerable problem. A warming-pan was used to overcome these inconveniences. The pan was filled with hot coals from the fire, then moved swiftly between the sheets using the long handle, immediately before the occupants got into the bed.

The pans are usually made from wrought iron as they are less likely to be damaged by hot coals. The lids are of brass or copper although the very wealthy had warming-pans with silver lids.

Ownership & Use
Servants had to be careful not to scorch expensive linen sheets. When not in use the warming pan was hung from a hook on the bedroom wall. With its brightly polished lid, it formed part of the ornament of a room and was usually decorated with engraving or pierced work. Warming-pans are mentioned in the 14th century in French documents and by the 17th century they had become relatively common domestic items. This warming-pan may have been made as a wedding present as the scene on the lid shows a cavalier and his lady.

Place of Origin

England (made)


17th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Brass, with a brass mounted iron handle, the lid perforated and engraved


Height: 123 cm, Depth: 13.5 cm pan, Diameter: 36 cm pan

Object history note

Made in England

Descriptive line

Brass (the handle of iron with brass mounts). ENGLISH; 17th century.; Brasswork


Household objects


Metalwork Collection

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