Historic Cooking Fires

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Colin Middleton
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Historic Cooking Fires

Post by Colin Middleton »

After discussions with the Iron Dwarf and a few other people, I've been digging through my books for pictures of medieval cooking fires. So far, I've not found much, but I thought that I'd better get what I have found posted up here and I'll add to it as I find others.

Here are some pictures from History of Medieval Live by David Nicolle.
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13th C Islamic picture of preparing medicines over a fire from Materia Medica. Page 106
13th C Islamic picture of preparing medicines over a fire from Materia Medica. Page 106
Picture from al-Hariri illustrating the cooking of camel meat for a meal. Date unknown. Page 123
Picture from al-Hariri illustrating the cooking of camel meat for a meal. Date unknown. Page 123
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Here are some from the Great Household In Late Medieval England.
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From Page 122. The apostles grill fish for Christ. From the Holkham Bible, c. 1320-30
From Page 122. The apostles grill fish for Christ. From the Holkham Bible, c. 1320-30
From Page 103. Christ cooks for his parents over a fire. From the Holkham Bible, c. 1320-30
From Page 103. Christ cooks for his parents over a fire. From the Holkham Bible, c. 1320-30
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Post by Colin Middleton »

More from the Great Household In Late Medieval England.
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From page 139. Cauldrons on a log fire. From the Luttrell Psalter, c. 1320-45.
From page 139. Cauldrons on a log fire. From the Luttrell Psalter, c. 1320-45.
From page 138. Roasting in front of a fire. From the Luttrell Psalter, c. 1320-45.
From page 138. Roasting in front of a fire. From the Luttrell Psalter, c. 1320-45.
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Post by The Methley Archer »

Just to add some more
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nativity.jpg
Hieronymus_Bosch-_The_Seven_Deadly_Sins_and_the_Four_Last_Things cropped.jpg
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Post by paul bennett »

cheers for that image dude, I think Im going to make that table
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Post by Dave B »

There were some good images on this subject on the old forum from last time we did this one in depth. I think it's still possible to get back to and search the old version, but I can't remember how just now.
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Post by Colin Middleton »

It's here: general/gossip/index.html

Which forum do we want?
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Here are some pictures from The Medieval Woman: An Illuminated Book Of Days by Galileo
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Woman frying breads from Dioscorides, Tractabus de herbis, MS. Lat. 993, f.142r (Boblioteca Estense, Modena). French 15th C.
Woman frying breads from Dioscorides, Tractabus de herbis, MS. Lat. 993, f.142r (Boblioteca Estense, Modena). French 15th C.
Preparing and cooking tripe from Tacuinum Sanitatis, MS. s. n. 2644, f. 81r. (Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna), Italian 1385
Preparing and cooking tripe from Tacuinum Sanitatis, MS. s. n. 2644, f. 81r. (Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna), Italian 1385
Lay sister preparing medications from J. du Ries. Quart volume de histoire scolastique MS. Royal 15 Di, f. 18 (British Library, London), Flemish 1470
Lay sister preparing medications from J. du Ries. Quart volume de histoire scolastique MS. Royal 15 Di, f. 18 (British Library, London), Flemish 1470
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Post by Colin Middleton »

I've got a few more to post (so far), but we're getting a general direction here of cooking on the floor. I've seen grills and spit racks in front of the hearth and chains hung from the chimney hood, but in just about every instance, the fire is on the floor.

I'll keep searching.
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Post by The Iron Dwarf »

some interesting things there colin, not much like mine but I will be looking at making a few other related items soon to see if they sell as well.

thank you for posting them

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Post by Colin Middleton »

There's more to come when I get time to add them. There MAY even be a fire box as we understand it in a piture of Hell, with the Devil lying on it.

Theotherone has posted some links on this before. Try looking at these:
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food-art/
And from the 1570s
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food-art/field_kitchen.gif

She's also sugested that this may show the fire lifted off of the floor (but I can't view it at work so I can't comment right now):
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food-art/main_kitchen.gif

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Post by Colin Middleton »

Another load of pictures. This time from the Medieval Panorama, edited by Robert Bartlett.
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A Flemish manuscript from 1450, showing the preparation of food.
A Flemish manuscript from 1450, showing the preparation of food.
A 14th C dining room in the Palazzo Davanzati in Florence.
A 14th C dining room in the Palazzo Davanzati in Florence.
Woman cooking for the household's master. Italian 1390-1400.
Woman cooking for the household's master. Italian 1390-1400.
Last edited by Colin Middleton on Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by chrisanson »

nice fire dogs in that one, if i had an open fire place............. oh sod it, i might make some anyway 8)

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Post by Colin Middleton »

And more from the Medieval Panorama, edited by Robert Bartlett.

This top picture is perhaps the most significant for our debate. It does appear to show some form of solid grill, in this case driven by a number of bellows.
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Tres Riches Heures for the Duc de Berry, mid-15th C. Showing the devil roasting sinners at the last judgement.
Tres Riches Heures for the Duc de Berry, mid-15th C. Showing the devil roasting sinners at the last judgement.
Robert Campin's St Barbara from the Netherlands in 1438.
Robert Campin's St Barbara from the Netherlands in 1438.
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Post by Colin Middleton »

From Chronicles of the Age of Chivalry by Elizabeth Hallam.
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St Dominic by Fra Angelico
St Dominic by Fra Angelico
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Post by Colin Middleton »

And finally from Page 1 of the Beauchamp Pageant.
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Woman cooking on a trivet, from the 1480s
Woman cooking on a trivet, from the 1480s
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Re: Historic Cooking Fires

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Fireboxes!

Post by jelayemprins »

And not a piece of modern steel or a tig weld in sight!

come on guys, we're suposed to be recreating history, not living in a dreamworld.

If you're gonna do period cookery then howabout doing it on the floor as ALL THESE REFERENCES SHOW?

There are many ways to get over the EH / NT regs about fires off the ground. PM me for details.

Or pop along to Pensthorpe where we actually [shock horror] did fire pits and barbq hogs n deer for real.

No red carrots either!
hehe
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Re: Fireboxes!

Post by Alan E »

jelayemprins wrote:[snip]...
If you're gonna do period cookery then howabout doing it on the floor as ALL THESE REFERENCES SHOW?

There are many ways to get over the EH / NT regs about fires off the ground. PM me for details.
...[snip]
hehe
Not quite all of them, for example from Karen's site there is a link to this http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server ... 004933.JPG which has three images of off-the-ground cooking.

If there are ways around regulations about fires on the ground, why not share them on the forum? Surely that's what everyone is looking for - a way to show as nearly as possible what was done, without damaging heritage (or otherwise sensitive) sites?
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Post by gregory23b »

The only issue with the off the ground fires in those pics is that it is not clear if it is indoors or outdoors, the images are very stylised. Mind, for a long term outside use then you could build a raised fire, but then you would need a roof.
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Re: Fireboxes!

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jelayemprins wrote:And not a piece of modern steel or a tig weld in sight!

come on guys, we're suposed to be recreating history, not living in a dreamworld.

If you're gonna do period cookery then howabout doing it on the floor as ALL THESE REFERENCES SHOW?
actually there is NO TIG welding on any of my stuff, but some components are hand forged

also I have never said my fireboxes are authentic, just that they are practicle, easy to use and with a bit of use can be made to look better.

I will also happily look out for you having a fire on the ground at places like wrest park to see how the people there feel about it.

and as for
ALL THESE REFERENCES SHOW?
maybe some of them show different things.

I make things I think will work and if at every event I sell out ( and without telling lies about authenticity ) I will make more for the next event.

at kelmarsh recently at the same time I had a WWII german officer and a Viking buying the same type of firebox and both said it was perfect for their needs.

as im a relative newbie who am I to argue .

I will no say something is authentic for a period if I dont know but I will say I dont know, If I think there is no proof for an item before the 19c I will say that.

unlike some traders selling genuine medieval Knights / stargazer chairs.

most here like what I do so I will continue

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Re: Fireboxes!

Post by chrisanson »

jelayemprins wrote:And not a piece of modern steel or a tig weld in sight!

come on guys, we're suposed to be recreating history, not living in a dreamworld.

If you're gonna do period cookery then howabout doing it on the floor as ALL THESE REFERENCES SHOW?

There are many ways to get over the EH / NT regs about fires off the ground. PM me for details.

Or pop along to Pensthorpe where we actually [shock horror] did fire pits and barbq hogs n deer for real.

No red carrots either!
hehe

tad rude dont you think?

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Post by craig1459 »

There's a Vike era firebox and grill of some description in the Stockholm museum, although I think it belonged to a smith
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Re: Fireboxes!

Post by Fox »

jelayemprins wrote:There are many ways to get over the EH / NT regs about fires off the ground. PM me for details.
Don't mess about.
Every site we go to, almost without exception (and not just EH / NT), insists on fires raised off the ground.

This is a frustration to me; I've spent my childhood in the scouting movement lighting fires in stone-lined firepits, but now we have to carry around a really inconvinient, heavy and inevitably dirty firebox.

If you have a way round this, don't suggest we PM you; just tell us!

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Post by robin wood »

Nice thread and pictures Colin, thanks for posting.

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Re: Fireboxes!

Post by chrisanson »

Fox wrote:
jelayemprins wrote:There are many ways to get over the EH / NT regs about fires off the ground. PM me for details.
Don't mess about.
Every site we go to, almost without exception (and not just EH / NT), insists on fires raised off the ground.

This is a frustration to me; I've spent my childhood in the scouting movement lighting fires in stone-lined firepits, but now we have to carry around a really inconvinient, heavy and inevitably dirty firebox.

If you have a way round this, don't suggest we PM you; just tell us!
perhaps its something that shouldnt be done as it needs to be PMed?
:roll:

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Post by The Iron Dwarf »

or more likley "go to another venue" like Pensthorpe instead of tewks, kelmarsh et al
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Post by chrisanson »

I just think that there is loads of scope for helpful hints and tips but find the holier than thou type stuff not only unhelpful but bloody annoying . most of the worst offenders you could probably walk around there LHC and make a list of the wang . but on here its different init? Why do people feel the need to big there selves up so much? Most of the time it just makes you look like a tw*t. How about just helping each other out a bit eh? Oh and lets not insult peoples work especially those that are trying to make an honest living.

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Post by Colin Middleton »

Back to the subject, some-one posted these very nice links in the Friends and Gossip section on cooking pots:

A raised fire:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Medieval_kitchen.jpg

A slightly raised fire-bead/hearth:
http://www.sewerhistory.org/images/wh/whm/whm03.jpg

And back to a picute of a pot hung over a fire on the ground :D
http://www.arfjfu.com/images/medieval%20cook.jpg

Robin, It's the Iron Dwarf that you can thank for starting it with his requests for information.

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Post by paul bennett »

the raised fire issue is not likely to be solved by a re-enactors suggestion. It is a standard detail in all risk assessments because the insurers require it, and they dont listen
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