Monday, July 27, 2009

My New Old Cauldron

Yesterday David and I went to a once-a-year antique fair at Elm Bank in Wellesley. We bought a beautiful Fulper vase early on and were beginning to think that that was it for us for the day, but as we were leaving we passed an aisle we weren't sure we had been through or not (the vendors were set up rather willy-nilly rather than in orderly rows so it was easy to miss stuff or find yourself doubling back to things you had already seen). As we stood there, taking a moment to think whether we had already perused those stalls, I saw a collection of ironware in a group on the grass outside the first booth and I knew instantly we hadn't been there. I made a beeline for that dealer and scored the find of the day for me: a very old iron cauldron. In fact, this was the find of the year (several, to be exact) as I have been looking for a pot like this for ages.

I now have a new cauldron that is very old. The dealer estimated it to be from the late 18th century, the very early 19th at the latest. It carries a mark from this early period and has the wear of more than two centuries to it. While 'new' might be better for some, for me 'old' is king. I could have bought a new cauldron from a mail order house that is clean, the right size and decorated with pentagrams or bats or some such design people think of when they think "witch." And I could have had it in my hands a long, long time ago. But instead I chose to wait until I found exactly what I had in my heart and in my mind. And the wait was worth it. Even though there were many pots and cauldrons sitting there in the sun, I was immediately drawn to this one and I bought it without a second thought (and got a fantastic deal on it too: I've seen smaller new cauldrons from China selling for far more than I paid for this perfect gem).

The body of the cauldron is a generous size (almost a bit too big for some applications) at 3 1/2 inches in height (not including its three legs) and 7 3/4 inches in diameter. Its exterior was repainted black an eternity ago and this last attempt to clean it up is itself now very aged and lovely. I simply love the idea that so many women through so many years have used this piece for what at one time, among other things, were uniquely feminine chores such as cooking supper for their families and heating water for washing. I can sense it hanging over their fires. I can feel the feminine energy in it. It's very strong. I need to wash it and cleanse its energy for myself before I put it to work for me and my own needs, but for the time being it's sitting happily before the fireplace in my living room, biding its time and waiting patiently for me once again, just as it had been for all those years when I was searching for it.

I can't wait for it to join me in circle.


Draco and his Mom said...

Oh my, wonderful how you found your cauldron, I am of the same mind when it comes to "things" I would rather have a piece with history and memory (if that is possible) versus a mass produced new, barren article. Congrats to YOU !

Judith said...

Very nice! I can't find a nice small one like that, though I do have a huge hanging one outside! they say it was a 18 century soap cauldron... giggle, but I know better