Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cauldron Cooking in Medieval England

cauldron, caldron [ˈkɔːldrən]
(Cookery) a large pot used for boiling, esp one with handles
[from earlier cauderon, from Anglo-French, from Latin caldārium hot bath, from calidus warm]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003


caul·dron also cal·dron (kôldrn)
1. A large vessel, such as a kettle or vat, used for boiling.
2. A state or situation of great distress or unrest felt to resemble a boiling kettle or vat: a cauldron of conflicting corporate politics.

[Middle English, alteration of cauderon, from Norman French, diminutive of caudiere, cooking pot, from Late Latin caldria, from feminine of Latin caldrius, suitable for warming, from calidus, warm; see kel-1 in Indo-European roots.]


While looking over the Museum of site, I came across this lovely Cauldron. I'd never seen this one before and this is one of those pots that I am excited to see because, while it is fairly broken, it shows different handles and some fairly modern looking feet. I spoke briefly in a previous post about pipkins and tri-pod pipkins, so the cauldron, at least this one, is one step above a pipkin. It's like the father of cookpots. This one has feet and it's big. It's handles on either side really show that this thing was ment to be full of liquid and hauled up. It probably had a lid by the deep gallery it has (potter term... inside lip I guess you would call it). There wasn't one on the site, but I would assume there was one by the size and because it is a cauldron (it's cooking use, there is a need for a lid).

Accession number: 18931
Collection place: London
Production date: Medieval; late 13th-mid 14th century
Material: ceramic; earthenware
Measurements: H 240 mm
Museum Section: Medieval
Summary: Largely reconstructed London-type ware cauldron with opposed, angular loop handles, glazed internally.
Location: Object stored at Mortimer Wheeler House (Ceramics and Glass store)
Category: Medieval glazed ware.
Sub-category: London-type ware.

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