Cast iron iron, India, 19th century
Cast iron iron from India in which glowing coals were placed to heat it. The top can be opened so that the hot coals can enter; There are also openings at the top – sometimes in the shape of a chimney – through which the smoke can escape, and often also just above the sole to supply oxygen. The coal can also be made to glow with a bellows, which is inserted into an opening at the back of the iron.
This piece is from the 19th century and comes from India. There is also an Indian swastika sign at the top. In Hinduism, the swastika represents the four directions. Facing right it represents the evolution of the universe; facing left it represents the involution of the universe. Hindus consider the swastika sacred and auspicious and use it to decorate cultural objects. Some of the earliest archaeological evidence of the swastika in the Indian subcontinent dates back to 3000 BCE.