What Is It? October 2015


We had two correct answers for our October What Is It. Judy Hess of Greeley, Colorado and Jerome McLaren of Conifer, Colorado both identified the item as a foot warmer.

This particular foot warmer is from the 1890s. It is lined with raccoon fur. It served a dual purpose: closed, it kept a lady’s feet toasty, when the tooled Moroccan-leather top was opened, it revealed a hidden jewel box. This is an accessory often associated with horse-drawn carriages.

Carriage foot warmers come in a variety of types. One kind is made of tin overlaid with carpeting; a small drawer holds lighted coals. Another one is simply a block of soapstone, which retains heat very efficiently; it could be preheated in a fireplace before being placed in a carriage. A fur-lined foot warmer was used like a muff for the feet.

Congratulations to our winners for identifying our What Is It. They have won a year’s subscription to the Mountain States Collector.


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