A Bed Warmer

Bed warmer

A “Škaldalet” is an interesting household item for warming the bed, known particularly in colder parts of western and northern Europe. The correct Slovenian name would be “žerjavnica”, or brazier in English, but since the bed warmer came to Slovenia from Italy, it cannot seem to shake its Italian denomination, adapted to the Tolmin dialect. At a time when there was no central heating in homes, it was used mainly in aristocratic and bourgeois houses, while the poorer heated their beds using a heated stone or brick. Although the “škaldalet” was a convenient and useful invention, it had several disadvantages. Due to the high temperature emitted by the embers, the heater often seared or even ignited the linen, while the smoke leaking through the tiny holes smeared the sheets and gave them an unpleasant odour that was difficult to get rid of.

This beautifully designed copper “škaldalet”, which has been kept by the Tolmin Museum since 1954, was used in the Podšolar house in Tolmin. It was made in the mid-19th century.


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