Bronze Cooking Cauldron
An 18th-century German cauldron, made of bronze. Bronze is an alloy made primarily of copper, with the remaining aspects consisting of either tin or arsenic. Tin must be mined mainly in its ore form, and then smelted separately before being added to molten copper to create bronze. Societies around the world entered the Bronze Age at different times, with the first cultures to smelt the metal successfully being those of West Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean Coast, around 3300–1200 BCE. When ancient societies began using bronze, one of the first and most consistent places it appeared was in cooking technology. This is due to the metal’s heat conduction abilities. However, bronze was expensive and time consuming to craft; hence, in early history bronze cookware was a luxury only the very wealthy could afford. One of the new forms of cookware invented with the advent of bronze was the cauldron, a large pot designed for use over an open fire. Cauldrons typically have either an arc-shaped hanger attached, or prominent handles, for safe transportation purposes. This bronze cooking cauldron is an 18th-century example of what has been a staple cooking instrument for hundreds of years. Both simple and sophisticated, this object would be a great display piece, suited for various places within the home.
At this time in Germany, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646–1716) died at age 70. He is considered one of the key voices in 17th-century rationalism and idealism, and the developer of differential and integral calculus. For these accomplishments, he remains one of the most prominent figures in the histories of philosophy and mathematics. Leibniz also contributed to the study of theology, politics, biology, linguistics, and library science, writing scholarship in six different languages.