Sharing Shakespeare's Story
Shakespeare and his contemporaries did not have access to modern devices such as radiators and electric blankets to warm their cold homes. Instead, a warm bed necessitated the use of a warming pan like the one pictured here. It has a long handle, to ensure a safe distance is kept from the hot contents of the pan at the end, which has a copper bottom and a brass hinged lid. The pan would be filled with hot coals or ashes and then placed into the bed between the sheets, the large copper bottom ensuring effective heat transfer from the hot ashes inside the pan to the bed clothes.