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18th Century Material Culture

Pans & Skillets


Introduction - Proper Nomenclature

When studying and evaluating 18th Century cookware, it is important to


cast aside modern conceptions and 21st century nomenclature. To
comprehend what was used and not used during this period, we must
properly identify these vessels and recognize how they were known by the
people who used them. This is particularly important when studying period
inventories, trade cards, newspaper advertisements, cook books, and
probate records.

Often confusing, incorrect nomenclature and preconceived notions have led


to many cookware vessels being misidentified and mislabeled over the years.
Even the strictest institutions have been guilty of this practice.

This slideshow hopes to shed some light on this often misunderstood


subject. It has been organized based on the research of Lynne Howard
Frazer and Martha Katz-Hyman.
Definitions

“A General Dictionary of the English Language”


by Thomas Sheridan 1780
From: “Calling the Kettle a Pot: Reviving 18th Century Cooking Equipment Nomenclature” by Lynne Howard Frazer
Prospect Books, 1987
Trade Cards
Trade Card for “Thomas Pickett”, Brasier
London, 18th Century
(Spitasfieldslife.com)
Advertisement by Joseph Webb of Boston
by Paul Revere September 28, 1765
(American Antiquarian Society)
Advertisement by Joseph Webb of Boston
by Paul Revere September 28, 1765
(American Antiquarian Society)
Boston References - Joseph Webb

Offered for Sale:


“Skillets of All Sizes”
“Large & Small Spiders”
“Stew Pans with Covers”
“Pudding Pans & Basons”
“Fry Pans & Fry Kettles ”
“Fry Kettles for Whaling”
Fry / Frying Pans

From: “Calling the Kettle a Pot: Reviving 18th Century Cooking Equipment Nomenclature” by Lynne Howard Frazer
Prospect Books, 1987
Detail: Sheet Iron Fry Pan with a Hook or Hole to Suspend it from a Bar: Trade Card for “Thomas Pickett”, Brasier
London, 18th Century
(Spitasfieldslife.com)
“L’ECUREUSE” - Note the Short Handled Fry Pan in the Wash Tub
by Jacques Firmin Beauvralet c. 1746 - 1790
(The British Museum)
Detail: “Cobbler’s Hall”
by Bowles & Carver 1793
(Lewis Walpole Library)
Long Handled Sheet Iron Fry Pan (Erroneously Labeled a “Skillet” by the Smithsonian)
From the Gondola, Philadelphia, Sunk on Lake Champlain 1776
(Smithsonian Institution)
Two Long Handled Sheet Iron Fry Pans
Late 18th - Early 19th Century
(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
Long Handled Sheet Iron Fry Pan
Owned by Major John Bolton of Colrain, Massachusetts
(Memorial Hall Museum)
Long Handled Sheet Iron Fry Pan
18th Century
(Private Collection)
Long Handled Sheet Iron Fry Pan
c. 1780 - 1820
(New York Historical Society)
American Long Handled Iron Fry Pan
Marked “Walket & Co.” c. 1750 - 1800
(Winterthur)
American Long Handled Iron Skillet Fry Pan on an Iron Stand
Marked “Walket & Co.” c. 1750 - 1800
(Winterthur)
American or European Copper & Iron Miniature Fry Pan
c. 1775 - 1850
(Winterthur)
American or European Copper & Iron Miniature Fry Pan
c. 1775 - 1850
(Winterthur)
English Miniature Tin Lined Copper Fry Pan for a Doll House
c. 1760
(Museum of London)
American or European Brass & Iron Miniature Fry Pan
c. 1750 - 1850
(Winterthur)
The Sausage Woman
by Robert Sayer After Thomas Worlidge c. 1770
(The British Museum)
The Sausage Woman
by Robert Sayer After Thomas Worlidge c. 1770
(The British Museum)
Detail: The Sausage Woman
by Robert Sayer After Thomas Worlidge c. 1770
(The British Museum)
Detail: “LA FILLE CONFUSE”
by Francois Robert Ingouf, After Jean Baptiste Greuze 1773
(The British Museum)
English Porcelain Figure of a Man Holding a Fry Pan
Bow Porcelain Factory c. 1770
(The British Museum)
An Individual Carrying a Sack and a Fry Pan
by Thomas Bewick c. 1781
(The British Museum)
Cast Iron Fry Pans with Feet / “Spiders”
Detail: “THE COOK MAID”
by Johann Jakob Haid, After Johann Casper Heilmann 1773
(The British Museum)
Small Cast Iron Fry Pan or Spider
18th Century
(Private Collection)
Small Cast Iron Fry Pan or Spider
18th Century
(Private Collection)
Small Cast Iron Fry Pan or Spider
18th Century
(Historic New England)
Small Cast Iron Fry Pan or Spider with Cover
c. 1700 - 1800
(New York Historical Society)
English Brass & Iron Footed Fry Pan
c. 1730 - 1750
(Winterthur)
The Wrought Iron Spider Enigma

Despite the abundance of documentation justifying the use of cast iron


shallow pan spiders during the mid to late 18th Century, there has been little
concrete primary documentation to support the use of wrought iron shallow
pan spiders until the very late 1790s, and possibly even later. To date, these
utilitarian objects appear to have been used primarily during the 19th
century. Until one of these objects appears with a strong provenance, they
should be considered incorrect for use prior to this time.
Peasant Family in the Kitchen Cooking with a Spider
In the style of David III Ryckaert (1612-1661) Likely 17th Century
American Wrought Iron Skillet on Legs or “Spider” from Pennsylvania
“c. 1780 - 1825”
(Winterthur)
American Wrought Iron Skillet on Legs or “Spider”
“c. 1790 - 1825”
(Historic New England)
Skillets

“A General Dictionary of the English Language”


by Thomas Sheridan 1780
Skillets

From: “Calling the Kettle a Pot: Reviving 18th Century Cooking Equipment Nomenclature” by Lynne Howard Frazer
Prospect Books, 1987
Skillets / Posnets

"Stusnet... a posnet, skillet."

"An English Dictionary..."
by Elisha Coles 1717

"PO'SNET... a Skillet, a Kitchen Vessel."



"An Universal Etymological English Dictionary..."
by Nathan Bailey 1731

"Skillet... a small kettle or boiler."



"The New Spelling Dictionary..."
by John Entick 1780
Skillets / Posnets
American Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “NEWPORT 1710”

c. 1710

(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
American Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “NEWORT 17”

Possibly by Lawrence Langworthy (1692-1739) of Newport

(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
American Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “LANGWORTHY 1730”

by Lawrence Langworthy (1692-1739) of Newport 1730

(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
American Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “LANGWORTHY 1730”

by Lawrence Langworthy (1692-1739) of Newport 1730

(Winterthur)
American Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “LANGWORTHY 1730”

by Lawrence Langworthy (1692-1739) of Newport 1730

(Private Collection)
American Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “M MORRISON NJ”

New Jersey 18th Century

(Skinner)
American or British Bell Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “SB Warner”
18th Century
(Private Collection)
English Bronze Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “Emerson & Co.”
Bristol 18th Century
(Private Collection)
English Bronze Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “Emerson & Co.”
Bristol 18th Century
(Private Collection)
English Bronze Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “Emerson & Co.”
Bristol 18th Century
(Private Collection)
English Bronze Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “Emerson & Co.”
Bristol 18th Century
(Private Collection)
English Bronze Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “Emerson & Co.”
Bristol 18th Century
(Private Collection)
English Bronze Metal Skillet or Posnet Marked “Emerson & Co.”
Bristol 18th Century
(Private Collection)
Cast Iron Skillet or Posnet Recovered from the Catoctin Furnace Foundry Site (18FR320) of Frederick County, Maryland
18th Century
(Archeological Collection of Maryland)
Small Cast Iron Skillet or Spider with Cover

Late 18th - Early 19th Century

(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
Three Small Cast Iron Skillets or Posnets
Late 18th - Early 19th Century
(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
Four Miniature Cast Iron Skillets or Posnets
18th Century
(Skinner - The Howard Roth Collection)
Cast Iron Skillet or Posnet
18th Century
(“Big Daddy” West Collection)
Cast Iron Skillet or Posnet
18th Century
(“Big Daddy” West Collection)
Cast Iron Skillet or Posnet with Lid
18th Century
(Private Collection)
Saucepans

From: “Calling the Kettle a Pot: Reviving 18th Century Cooking Equipment Nomenclature” by Lynne Howard Frazer
Prospect Books, 1987
Copper & Iron Sauce Pan Owned by George Washington
c. 1750 - 1800
(Mount Vernon)
American Silver & Wood Sauce Pan from Newport, Rhode Island
by Thomas Arnold c. 1759 - 1780
(Winterthur)
English Glass Sauce Pan
c. 1770 - 1800
(Winterthur)
Stew Pans

From: “Calling the Kettle a Pot: Reviving 18th Century Cooking Equipment Nomenclature” by Lynne Howard Frazer
Prospect Books, 1987
Copper & Iron Stew Pan from theHousehold of Robert Burns (1759 - 1796) of Dumfries
Late 18th Century
(Dumfries & Galloway Museums Service)
German or Dutch Copper & Iron Stew Pan
c. 1740
(Beauchamp Antiques)
German or Dutch Copper & Iron Stew Pan
c. 1740
(Beauchamp Antiques)
French Copper & Iron Stew Pan
c. 1760
(Beauchamp Antiques)
French Copper & Iron Stew Pan
c. 1760 - 1780
(Beauchamp Antiques)
French Copper & Iron Stew Pan
c. 1760 - 1780
(Beauchamp Antiques)
Detail: “CORPORAL TRIM’S reflections on Mortality in the Kitchen, on the Death of MASTER BOBBY”
by Carington Bowles 1785
(Lewis Walpole Library)
Detail: “A MACARONI FRENCH COOK.”
by Matthew Darly 1772
(The British Museum)
“A FRENCH COOK making a FRICASSEE”
by W, Darling 1771
(Lewis Walpole Library)
“A FRENCH COOK making a FRICASSEE”
by W, Darling 1771
(Lewis Walpole Library)
“The ENGLISH GENTLEMAN at PARIS.”
by Bowles & Carver 1772
(The British Museum)
“The ENGLISH GENTLEMAN at PARIS.”
by Bowles & Carver 1772
(The British Museum)
Pans
Sheet Brass Pan with Iron Handles
Late 18th Century
(Louwers Antiques)
Sheet Brass Pan with Iron Handles
Late 18th Century
(Louwers Antiques)
English Figure Study with Dog & Pan
by David Deuchar c. 1782
(The British Museum)
Grissets
Cast Iron Grisset
Early 18th Century
(Elliot & Grace Snyder)
Cast Iron Grisset
Early 18th Century
(Elliot & Grace Snyder)
Miscellaneous
London Cries: "A Man Selling Pots & Pans"
Paul Sandby c. 1759
(Yale Center for British Art)
Cookware Peddler
by Anne Claude Philippe de Tubières, Comte de Caylus after Edme Bouchardon 1746
(Metropolitan Museum of Art)
London Cries: “A Tinker and His Wife”
Paul Sandby c. 1759
(Yale Center for British Art)
London Cries: "Any Kitchen Stuff"
Paul Sandby c. 1759
(Yale Center for British Art)
Acknowledgements

The 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center greatly acknowledges our friends
Jymm Hoffman and Martha Katz-Hyman for their assistance in this slideshow.
Acknowledgements

The material contained within these slideshows is presented for educational purposes only. The
18th Century Material Culture Resource Center does not personally own any of the items
depicted herein and is indebted to the countless museums, libraries, and private collectors who
willingly share their collections with the public through the internet. Every attempt has been
made to credit these organizations and individuals for their contributions as best as possible.

If there is a question you have regarding a particular item featured within a presentation, please
contact the 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center and we will try to answer your
inquiry as best as possible. If for any reason you feel there is any item that should not be
presented here, or if there is an error in any listing, or if you know the source for any item whose
credit is unknown, please inform us and we will make sure your concern is addressed as soon as
possible.

Thank you!

- The 18th Century Material Culture Resource Center