With no electric blankets or heating pads to warm up cold beds during 18th-century winter nights, comfort was often provided by a bed warmer. At the end of its long handle, the warmer held a metal pan filled with hot coals and fitted with a lid. The warmer was placed underneath or smoothed over bed coverings.
The DAR Museum’s example was probably made in the Netherlands. Both practical and beautiful, it features a brass lid with decorative piercing and small etched images, including a tiny duck (bottom center). The central design depicts a vase filled and surrounded by elaborate scrolled foliage.
Volume 144, Number 6, November/December 2010, Page 9
Photography by Scott Braman