In the cold European winters, bed warmers were a welcome comfort. The pan itself was made of brass or copper, and filled with hot coals, had a long wooden handle so it could be pushed under the covers of the bed into the position of the feet. If the bed was dry, the pan had to be constantly moved so it would not scorch the sheets, but this was not always a problem as sometimes the bedding was damp. The pan assisted in drying out the bed clothes. Some warming pans had patterns marked out in piercing to the lids, which also allowed the heat to escape. Although metal and ceramic hot bottles haad been in use since the 16th century, it was the invention and subsequent widepread popularity of the rubber hot water bottle in 1903 that led to the demise of the bed warmer.
A Georgian copper bed warmer, early 19th century, of typical circular shape with a rolled rim, the cover pierced and with remnant engraving and prick work foliate decorations, riveted and attached to a long ebonised turned handle. Length 121 cm
A Georgian copper bed warmer, early 19th century, of typical circular shape with a rolled rim, the cover pierced and with remnant engraving and prick work foliate decorations, riveted and attached to a long ebonised turned handle. Length 133 cm
Two antique brass bowls and a Villedieu copper warming pan, early 20th century (bowls), and later, the two large brass bowls of rustic form, one with a hammered finish throughout; the copper ornamental warming pan with a pierced floral lid and a turned oak
A brass trivet and a copper measure or ale warmer, 19th to 20th century, the pierced trivet of oval form raised on four slender baluster legs; the copper measure or ale warmer of conical form with a rolled rim and a hollow rivet joined 'C' form handle, fun
An antique copper bed warmer, of typical circular shape with a rolled rim, the cover pierced and lightly engraved with foliate and floral decorations, riveted and attached to a long wooden shaped handle. Length 128 cm
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