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I Forge Iron

16th Century German Reenactment Utensils

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A friend of my wife mentioned the possibility of needing some forged utensils for a 16th century German reenactment group. I've searched Google and gone through lots of sites but little info on kitchen utensils. Lot's on Armor and weapons. If anyone has any photos or knowledge of what would be the correct design I would appreciate it. I've become pretty good at flesh forks ,I will post photos when time allows. Just want to know what I'm getting into before I speak up.
Things asked about were a :

Hanging skillet
Peel (hearth shovel)
Hanging S hooks
Spider (skillet on legs)
Bake kettle or Dutch oven

Thanks for any info you might provide.


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Thanks, I'll check it out. I do know what the items are. We live about 8 miles from Sturbridge Village (18th century) and I have seen them there. What I don't know is what style is period correct. Plain or fancy.What type of embellishments, twists etc.were used to decorate them if any.


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The level of decoration, then as now, was pretty much determined by what you could afford. For the most part, plain with minimal if any decoration is probably the way to go. Plain seems to be the standard in the handful of reference books on my shelf.

I used to live in Connecticut, so Sturbridge Village was practically up the road, and the blacksmith shop there was my inspiration towards blacksmithing.

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Sonn's book is pretty expensive. Check for it through Inter-Library-Loan.

Also check out Plummer's book Colonial Wrought Iron. Or Neumann's Early American Antique Country Furnishings or Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution.

The big problem with these books is the later time period. A lot of stuff did carry forward, but a lot also didn't.

The simplest advice would be to look at a good book of 16th century iron work, and then think ... simpler or plainer. The fancy stuff survived and ended up in collections, museums, and books. The common stuff was just too ... common.

1500's is pretty early for "eating" forks, and those would be 2-tined. Basic table utinsels would be a knife and a spoon.

Dutch Oven or Bake Kettle. Tricky terms. First, forget those cast iron "dutch ovens". Those only started to come into use about the time of the Civil War - mid 1800's. But mostly late 1800's on into the 1900's. The early version of this was the French Tourtiere. The "bake kettle" was basically a large pot with a lid. But the ... term ... changed a lot in its definition, just like the "dutch oven" term.

Hanging skillet - picture a round sheet iron pan with a fixed bale
Peel (hearth shovel) - two different things - a peel is a cooking spatula while a heath shovel is just that - a shovel
Trivets - generally would be tall for cooking over coals
Hanging S hooks - a wide variety of possibilities
Spider (skillet on legs) - sheet iron pan with long legs - for cooking over a fire
- can be either flat bottomed or rounded
Bake kettle or Dutch oven - see above and search for a Tourtiere

This should give you a start.

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Thanks for all the great responses! I'm going to go to the library and see if they have any of the titles mentioned. I will be able to make some of the pieces for sure . Think S hooks :D A peel and trivets should be possible too. All will provide a new level of practice for me.

This site has been such a great source of information, Thank you !


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Try Cooks and Kitchens in Medieval and Renaissance Art "Medieval and Renaissance Material Culture: Cooks and Kitchens"

I think you will be happily surprised and all the sources are documented!

I've been working on the 1570's "Country/Campaign? Kitchen" one.

Note that her base site is a MAJOR resource for Medieval and Renaissance Material Culture!

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I've always enjoyed helping the cooks out and in turn they have often provided me with tasty treats, especially when we get wild and crazy and brainstorm stuff like making a spit rack that builds into the doorway of a beehive oven so you can make use of the IR blasting out of it. (the improv one worked great and the "official one" with custom made spits was well received too!)

After a day of forging I'm usually too tired to cook; so having a bunch of camps send food is a real treat.

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