Friday, May 31, 2013

What Is It? Where Is It? (May): The Brazier

This month's edition of What Is It? Where Is It? features the brazier from the master bedroom. A brazier is a container for fire, usually taking the form of a metal box. They are used for light and heat and also for some cooking and cultural rituals. Braziers have been recovered from many early archaeological sites and the Hebrew word for it is of Egyptian origin, suggesting the Egyptians may have been the ones to invent it. In Japanese, the word for brazier is "hibachi" - a word we may be more familiar with in modern times.

The flat supports around the top of the brazier were to support a pot or kettle - do you notice how they are a little elevated? That was to provide a bit of air space so the pot would not smother the fire. Because this example is in a bedroom we can surmise that it may have been for heating water for tea or washing up rather than cooking, which would have been done in the summer kitchen.

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