This is antique or at least vintage (family heirloom). It looks like it might be some sort of double-boiler? The bottom part is ~ 9.5" diameter and ~ 2" deep and appears to be ceramic-coated metal. The insignia on the bottom looks like a lion leaning on a coffee-pot with a "B" in it, and lettering under the stamp is illegible, except for the number 134. On the metal rim it says 'Patented May 23, 1899'. The top part is possibly aluminum, is less than 1" deep, and it is textured as shown, with no markings on the bottom. Handles on both are wood. Even when holding both in hand, these are not heavy. All ideas are welcome, as I am baffled.

Update 12/12: The enameled pan has been identified as a chafing dish, but the textured pan is still a mystery, so if there are any ideas on what it is or how it might be used, please feel free to share!

antique double pan

(click for full size)

  • 4
    You are assuming these are meant to be stacked when used. Maybe they just fit out of coincidence, for storage, or so the pan could also be used as a lid.
    – GdD
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 19:04
  • If the handles fit as well as they seem to on the upper picture, then the storage hypothesis isn't very likely.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 6, 2014 at 20:10
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    If you really want to research it, the US patent office issued 468 patents on 5/23/1899. You can look at images of the patent docs by searching here: patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/… I've never found a site offering free text search on patents that old, so serious digging will be required. The maker's mark looks rather British, not sure how their search system works: gov.uk/search-for-patent A patent NUMBER would be very helpful. Commented Dec 7, 2014 at 0:16

4 Answers 4


It looks possible that the two pieces don't actually go together. The patent referred to is number 625702, for an enameled chafing dish with a domed lid. (It's kind of hard to tell, but I think the innovation being claimed is the lip/indentation which allows the handle to be attached without damaging the enamel.)

diagram from the patent

The patent does mention the inventor's desire to apply the patent to other dishes, not just ones of the chafing variety, but the enameled piece you have greatly resembles the enameled portion of the dish in the patent drawing.

  • You got lucky! It was on the second page! :-) Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 12:56
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    @WayfaringStranger: I actually looked through all 468 patents, because sometimes people get multiple patents for similar things, and I was hoping that textured pan would show up somewhere. Unfortunately, Mr. G. E. Savage only had the single patent granted on this date.
    – Marti
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 16:07

The metal pan is a toaster, an accessory for the Manning-Bowman white enamel chafing dish. see 1907 brochure from company link: https://archive.lib.msu.edu/DMC/sliker/msuspcsbs_manb_manningbow2/msuspcsbs_manb_manningbow2.pdf

  • Well-found ... isn't it the 'waffler', though? Commented Nov 4, 2018 at 11:14

Looks like a roasting pan...perhaps for chestnuts


I talked to my Mom and we both agreed that it may be a old fashioned waffle or fancy pancake pan. All you do is put water in the bottom, boil, butter the top pan, add the pancake or waffle mix, stir around, put back on top and cook. Maybe you could put a homemade cake or shortcake mix and put the lid on and cook. There are cakes that one can cook on the stove, so why not on a "double boiler" with a fancy waffle design. I would try it out if I had it

  • This sounds implausible. A cake or waffle won't get hot enough in a double boiler.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 10:39

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