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Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:41 pm
by DeMeer
Hi,
I am after a cauldron to use for cooking on our living history display i need one for the 1st of May and as there arnt any fairs near me now i just wondered if anyone knew where i could get one from or recommend anyone.

Many Thanks
Sharron

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 8:09 am
by Vermin
I have one from these guys - http://www.anvilart.net/pages/historica ... ical01.htm

Probably not 10/10 on authenticity - but depends what you're after - certainly keeps the pottage out of the flames :)

it will beany use

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:32 am
by annoo
hi shaz
i picked this card up so try this site darzet.com not sue but i think this was were you got you tooth thing from a the reanacters fair not sure if it will help see ya soon lady ann

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:39 pm
by DeMeer
Hi
Thanks to you both of you. Vermin i have seen these ones and they are not quite what we want but thanks anyway. Lady Ann ive look at the site and he doesnt do cauldrons just things for the kitchen. Who would know it would be so difficult to find a cauldron i suppose we could always starve :D

Sharron

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:20 pm
by Eve
Always worth rooting around antique shops. I found a lovely small cauldron in a shop in Rye a couple of years ago - very reasonable price too.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:54 pm
by Dave B
Have you an idea what you do want?

As I understand it, there are several options (if you search on here you'll find a couple of threads.) Sorry if Im teaching granny to suck eggs.

1. 'Pottery' cauldrens (Dutch ovens). Relatively cheap, absolutely authentic, but you have to look after them. Heat them too aggressivly and they go pop.

2. Bronze cauldrens. Very expensive, but authentic. you need to be carefull to season them correctly and not leave anything acidic in them or they can taint the food.

3. sheet metal cauldren. Apparently less common, although it's hard to be entirely sure as sheet metals last less well than pottery or cast brass. the examples of remains in the MOL 'the medieval household' finds books suggests that at least some had a 'balti dish' sort of shape in thin sheet, folded over a stiffening hoop/rim. Not aware of anyone selling good repros of these (although I don't know why not, they should be easy for an armourer to do?) there are some about the right shape but solid rather than thin with a rim.

4. Cast iron cauldrens, possibly with legs: Victorian, not justifyable in medieval reenactment (but I do have one in the shed from before we knew better).

Dave.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:26 pm
by Grymm
If iron isn't a prob and you ent too fussy 'bout shape try searching the 'pagan' shops online some do have cast iron cauldrons, just make sure you check the size (some 'ritul' ones are teeeny) and decoration as some, but not all, have a pentangle on them.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:19 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
3. sheet metal cauldren. Apparently less common, although it's hard to be entirely sure as sheet metals last less well than pottery or cast brass. the examples of remains in the MOL 'the medieval household' finds books suggests that at least some had a 'balti dish' sort of shape in thin sheet, folded over a stiffening hoop/rim. Not aware of anyone selling good repros of these (although I don't know why not, they should be easy for an armourer to do?) there are some about the right shape but solid rather than thin with a rim.
got any pix of this type of thing?
I might have just the thing in my workshop :wink:

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:21 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
decoration and lettering can be removed normally without much trouble, possibly even at boot camp :wink:

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:19 pm
by DeMeer
Hi All,

Thanks Grymm i have looked at the pagan shops but cant find anything big enough ideally we want it to be able to feed about 15 people so a 12 litre one.
Iron dwarf were not that fussed really as long as we can cook in it something like this, not sure if the metal dutch ovens are suitable for 13th century i believe for us the one's with the legs are not correct.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:33 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
think I can do you something of a plainer shape to hold maybe 2 to 3 gallons to the brim.
with or without legs
not sure about the lid yet.
are you going to boot camp?

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:44 pm
by DeMeer
Hi Iron Dwarf,

Do you mean the EMA boot camp? thats the only one i know of at the moment.

Sharron

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:14 pm
by The Iron Dwarf

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:07 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
DeMeer wrote:Hi Iron Dwarf,

Do you mean the EMA boot camp? thats the only one i know of at the moment.

Sharron
had not heard that the EMA had changed the name of their event or taken over the one that has been running the last 2 years and this years starts on the 9th of aprill, when I got a message from Laurie this morning he did not mention that he was no longer organising the event that I am doing demo's at.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:23 pm
by DeMeer
Hi,

No totally different event i didnt know about this one but sad to say i wont be able to go either which is a shame.

Sharron

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:19 pm
by Dave B
Right, a couple of thoughts.

Firstly you have not specified an exact period, so I'm going to assume that we mean high to late medeival.

Secondly I'm no expert, I just read a few articles after a previous discussion, when I realised we were useing a quite unsuitable cauldren. I hope that some of the more knowledgable people on the forum will chip in if I start the ball rolling.

Firstly Legs are good. this is a picture of a fragment of an origional cauldren and a reconstrucion sketch, based on a number of surviving fragments.

Image

It's made of cast copper alloy (brass/bronze) the handle is wrought iron. there is no evidence of lids and there are illustrations that suggest cauldren lids were simple wooden disks.

There is no evidence of cast iron ones or almost any medieval domestic objects in cast iron, although IIRC there were a couple of cast iron cannon/mortars cast by the dukes of burgundy in the late medieval period. Casting technology just isn't up to it.

Historic Castings do replicas of this sort of thing. they are things of total beauty, but very expensive to make. I'd guess that to commission one in the size you are talking would be many hundreds of pounds.

There are surviving all copper pans like this:

Image

These are all copper, presumably very useable if you had them tinned. I don't know of anyone making pans like this. there is a chap in the states who makes lovely 17th and 18thC cookware in copper, these seem to differ only in shape. I think he'd make one, but I bet you would be talking £250. will find his details if anyone is interested.

There are also Iron and copper pans like this one:

Image

The handle is wrought Iron, as is the ring that supports the rim. the rest is beaten copper/copper alloy, folded over the rim. I'll commission one when I win the lottery.

Some of these survive, but also quite often just the iron ring and handle. As copper survives better, the museum of London team have speculated that perhaps some had a wrought iron rim and a beaten sheet iron pan. I think these would be realtively simply made by an armourer, but I don't know. On the other hand the non-survival of the copper could just mean that these pans were deliberately thrown away, not lost and that the valuable copper was removed for recycling, who knows.

does anyone care to either correct me or add to that?

Dave.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:51 pm
by Fox
The Iron Dwarf wrote:
DeMeer wrote:Hi Iron Dwarf,

Do you mean the EMA boot camp? thats the only one i know of at the moment.

Sharron
had not heard that the EMA had changed the name of their event or taken over the one that has been running the last 2 years and this years starts on the 9th of aprill, when I got a message from Laurie this morning he did not mention that he was no longer organising the event that I am doing demo's at.
The EMA are holding a training weekend on 17th/18th April.

This has no connection with the History Boot Camp run by David and Laurie on 10th/11th April.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:21 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
thanx Fox
that is how I understood it.

thanx Dave B
the item number 499
copper alloy with similar chain looks very much like some of the 'jam pans' I have except for the handle is replaced by a chain, they could easily be modified though these are not beaten but are about 3 to 4mm thick and look spun.
I have a few of these in brass or bronze ( both of which are of course copper alloys ) if people were interested.


the item number 466
the problem I would have with this is to shape the neck, the rest is not difficult

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:33 pm
by hamster

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:57 pm
by Merlon.
hamster wrote: reasonably priced
You would have to deal with the large "Best Duty" logo, "Made in South Africa" wording and the ribs all cast onto the side of the vessel
Would be cheaper to get one spun in steel, some of the suspended ones are effectively hemispheres after all

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:59 pm
by DeMeer
Hi Dave,

Thats fantastic thank you we are a 13th century group 1250 to 1300 what you have put is very helpful and gives me more scope to look. Yeah it would be great if anyone else has anything to put but we have a start.

Many Thanks

Sharron

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:01 pm
by The Iron Dwarf
un necked hemispheres that have straight sides are not hard, will make one for boot camp to get opinions from those present ( until someone is of the opinion that they should give me money for it that is )

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:17 pm
by DeMeer
Sorry guys i must have been having a senior moment this morning i somehow managed to miss what everyone else had put. I had look at the South Africans before but like its been said its the logo you have to contend with.

I have also seen the dutch oven ones which are very similar to the jam pans dwarf is on about but of course the lids are wrong.
Ok question, some say they didnt have legs on in the 13th century can anyone put me right on that one please.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:29 pm
by hamster
Merlon. wrote:
hamster wrote: reasonably priced
You would have to deal with the large "Best Duty" logo, "Made in South Africa" wording and the ribs all cast onto the side of the vessel
Would be cheaper to get one spun in steel, some of the suspended ones are effectively hemispheres after all
can this be angle ground off :crazy: :shh:

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:55 pm
by Merlon.
hamster wrote: can this be angle ground off :crazy: :shh:
Yes... but you would have to be very good with the grinder to get an even finish. Then you have to explain the the contrast between the smooth areas and the untouched cast areas. A lot of work to get a so so product

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:03 pm
by Fox
...and still essentially made from the wrong material.

Personally, I think for most purposes cooking in pottery is the best way to go.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:16 pm
by hamster
:devil: ill stick to my dutch oven then :*

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:14 pm
by Laffin Jon Terris
Fox wrote:...and still essentially made from the wrong material.
As are a lot of clothes, and armour, tents..............

Yes, cast iron is wrong for the period but with some work such a cauldron could be made to look similar for a lot less than a bronze one that is right. After all, there are so many other things that people are happy to say "that's close enough" about.

I'd love to have bronze pots but I can't afford them (and I work in asociation with a bronze foundry).

The legs on the South African cauldrons are too spindly and also in the wrong place IMHO(too far under the pot rather than further out to the sides) I'd cut them off and tidy up the sides a little (I'm sure I've seen at least one original cauldron with cast lines around it too).

If anyone challenges you then you can happily explain the differences between cast iron and bronze including the relative cost and the relative difficulty to find too.

JonT

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:19 pm
by Fox
Laffin Jon Terris wrote:
Fox wrote:...and still essentially made from the wrong material.
As are a lot of clothes, and armour, tents..............

Yes, cast iron is wrong for the period but...
I agree.

And if you want an iron cauldron for boiling water then fine, and at least know that it's wrong.

But pottery is not expensive, and is, as far as I can tell, perfectly accurate, for cooking in.

Re: Cauldron to cook in

Posted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:37 pm
by DeMeer
Laffin Jon, i agree that a lot of the materials are wrong and afterall a lot of groups use fireboxes which are not correct for the period either.
Fox pottery is good and can be cheap but i think it would work out expensive in our group cos they are a clumsy lot :)
I would love to have a 100% authentic one but then you are talking lots of money which our group doesnt have, i had a quote for one the other day and it was going to cost £330 too much money when you have your public liability to get as well. Talking of which and i know its nothing to do with the cauldron but can anyone recommend a company for insurance?

Sharron