Fine example of an 18th century colonial period fireplace/hearth accessory vital to the daily tasks performed by a period cook. Similar examples to this can be seen referenced in numerous volumes on the subject of period cooking and ironware, for a notably similar example please see those illustrated in George Nuemann's "Early American Antique Country Furnishings".
As the temperature of a cooking hearth could only be manipulated by the size of the fire, a trammel such as this was an essential means for regulating the heat exposure to various pots and kettles.
The chain would have been looped over an iron bracket or pole built into the masonry, allowing the links of the chain to hang below. The bottom hook would be used on the handle of the various cookware put before the flames. The smaller hook would act to fit itself on one of the various forged iron rings, thus adjusting the size of the trammel and the distance the various kettle/pot would be from the flame; allowing for better temperature regulation.
All hand blacksmith made, this period 1750-1790 trammel shows excellent signs of colonial era craftsmanship, each of the individual rings being hand forged and assembled. Overall the piece is in near excellent condition. From age there is some slight pitting and oxidation as one would expect from over 200 years of age, still a very solid example perfect for display and use.
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