Dutch Doofpot


Material: Copper and brass
Dimensions: Height: 44.5cm / 17 ½in, Base diameter: 34cm / 13 ⅜in
Place of Origin: The Netherlands
Date: 19th century
Maker or Retailer: Unknown
Present Location: Private collection


‘Doofpot’ means in Dutch ‘extinguisher’. The doofpot was used to receive ash and hot embers from the fire; its tight-fitting lid restricted the supply of oxygen and quickly extinguished them, thereby helping to reduce the fire hazard, particularly when carrying the ashes outside for disposal. Some doofpots are watertight and could also be used to hold water to extinguish a fire.


This large and elaborate 19th century example is made of sheet copper with brass claw feet, finial and tubular bail handle. Its repoussé decoration includes stylised foliage and coats of arms on both sides. Both copper and brass have acquired a deep bronze-coloured patina.


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