International studio — 81.1925

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WROUGHT-IRON KITCHEN UTENSILS. UPPER LEFT, GRIDIRON, ENGLISH, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; LEFT CENTRE, GRIDIRON,
SPANISH, SEVENTEENTH CENTURY; LOWER LEFT AND RIGHT, ANDIRONS, ENGLISH, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; CENTRE, TOP,
GRATE FRONT, ENGLISH, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; CENTRE, TOASTER, SCOTTISH, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY; CENTRE, BOTTOM,
CRADLE SPIT, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY', AND FIRE DOGS WITH CRESSET TOPS, SEVENTEENTH CENTURY, BOTH ENGLISH; RIGHT
CENTRE, GRIDIRON, ENGLISH, SEVENTEENTH CENTURY; UPPER RIGHT, GRIDIRON, ENGLISH OR GERMAN, EIGHTEENTH CENTURY

toasting of food of every description, and were
often powerful tools capable of sustaining a con-
siderable weight.

The eighteenth-century Kitchen did not boast
an extensive range of cooking implements. In
addition to those already referred to there were
various devices for the suspension of cauldrons
above the blaze. The early form was represented
by a simple bar fixed from side to side of the
hearth but by this period there had developed the
pot-hanger capable of providing means of adapt-
ing the height to requirements. This was deter-
mined by means of a sliding hook whose elevation
was controlled by a simple mechanical device. In
the example illustrated the figure of a man at the
base, surmounted by a hammer and pincers,
would seem to suggest that the blacksmith has
whimsically chosen to immortalize himself and
his craft therein. In any case, each smith strove
to make his own products highly individual, while
each district would have its own special features
of design and its own local traditions in such
matters. The absence of mass-production had its
distinct advantages in respect of variety and
perhaps of quality as well.

In the chimney cranes with the long arms and
stout hooks from which to swing the pots for the
boiled meats, a similar freshness of ornament

makes itself apparent, though the essential form
remains the same. In the two shown in the first
illustration to this article note how the decoration
either follows structural lines or else is part of the
mechanism. The large knobs on the right of both
cranes are stoppers for the movable arm. It is
seldom that we find the character of the medium
transgressed in any way, whether the decoration
take a geometrical form or venture into the realm
of floral designs or figure decoration.

As taste grew more fastidious, so our ancestors
began to demand that not alone should their
victuals be well cooked but also that they should
be appetizingly served. Hence in the eighteenth
century we find the introduction of trivets and
rings for warming the plates and dishes in front
of the fire so that the food might be presented
becomingly hot. These are nearly always in
tripod form and are often made in conjunction
with prongs or forks for the toasting of bread.
The further development of these roughish tripods
into elaborately wrought "footmen" of steel and
brass, such as became later in the eighteenth cen-
tury the common ornaments of apartments, more
ceremonial in character than the kitchen, is an
interesting study in itself.

Photographs from the Victoria and Albert Museum

two twenty-jour

JUNE I925
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