This is an old piece we inherited, that was probably picked up in England in the 1950s. The closest thing I have been able to find to it is an old egg coddler, which features a burner under a pot, similar to this. But this does not appear to be an egg-coddler, as it has no inner cage to hold the eggs. I have extensively searched Martin Hall & Co. pieces, and have found nothing like this. So the first question is, WHAT exactly is this piece?--What was it designed to do? The measurements are as follows: --The Tripod legs (shaped like tree limbs) are 15" tall. --The silver pot that hangs suspended by a chain, is 4" high x 4-3/4" wide. --The burner at the bottom of it is @ 2-2/3" across, and opens up for fuel, and an opening and closing cap on top. Speaking of the burner, what sort of fuel is this supposed to use? Does it need a wick? I realize this is not sterling, but is plated, but because it appears to be so rare, I'm hoping it will be worth something to collectors. Could you please give us an idea what it's worth? Along with the photos I took, I am attaching one from a website that shows clearly the exact marks that are found on the bottom of the pot, just so you can see what these are. Thank you for your kind assistance in helping us figure out what this is, and what it's worth. We really do appreciate your help!
Purchased in Europe mid 20th century
Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry.
It is a beautiful egg coddler. Such vintage table items are being offered at auction on a regular basis.
I believe your tripod hanging burner to be an egg coddler however the insert for the eggs appears to be missing. If it is the right tripod stand for this piece I am unsure of. Usually a kind of lamp oil were used for these kind of table items.
It is a lovely item dating from the late 1800s/early 1900s when this type of item was in fashion in the wealthy households. It appears to be in good condition and despite from the missing insert I would certainly believe that it would attract the attention of both collectors and dealers if it came up for auction.
The estimate provided is for a well-advertised specialised online silver auction, where I believe the egg coddler has the best chance of realising its fullest potential. However, there is no measurement for the sentimental value you might attach to the lovely egg coddler. Retail "asking prices" can be higher and vary.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I’m happy to help.