Warming It Up Vintage Style

My hubs just celebrated his birthday… here’s a little peek at some of his birthday bootie! Vintage Brandy Warmer The black C R letters in the background are vintage metal letters from old signs – you guessed it, in his initials! I picked these up at Trade Roots in Victoria, a great vintage home & decor boutique that my pal Nicole made me aware of.

On the left is Buffalo Trace bourbon, ‘the’ bourbon hubs uses when he makes Old Fashioned cocktails. Have you ever had one? And on the right is Courvoisier cognac, apparently the cognac of  Napolean! My point? Well, it’s actually the vintage piece in between the two! This is a brandy warmer.

Brandy warmers go waaay back to at least the 1700s, though back then they were far from the design above. Then, the warmer was a very simple, very tiny sauce pan filled with a drink of brandy and heated up on the stove.

Antique Barndy Warmer c1700s -


After about the 1830s a burner stand was introduced. This stand supported the tiny pan over a spirit lamp, a lamp that burns alcohol or other volatile spirits, but not oil.

Scottish Silver Brandy Pan & Warmer c1904-05


The heat from the flame warmed the brandy rather than setting the pan on the stove.

As you can see from hub’s gift, brandy warmers are still in use today, but a glass snifter has now replaced the silver pan!

Brandy Warmer in Action

This is the test run of the ‘new’ vintage warmer in action! And that’s not a dirty snifter, all that foggy white you see. No, that’s the steam and condensation from the brandy warming up!

What cool and interesting object from the past have you come across lately? I think this one is kind of fun! In case you’re wondering, this gift was purchased at the Highway Antique Emporium, aka the Antique Barn, outside of Chemainus. Would’ve been kind of fun if I’d thrifted it though! 😉

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise stated.

8 Replies to “Warming It Up Vintage Style”

  1. Well I haven’t come across anything as cool as that! What a great gift! So glad you liked their store…you have to come to my next workshop there in the spring!

  2. What a beautiful and thoughtful gift! I love to find fun ideas for men- people just don’t publicize those finds enough- thank you! Happy Belated Birthday to your husband too!

  3. Oh gosh, that takes me back to the 70’s ……. ugh, I wasn’t old enough to drink brandy and I was just starting to walk but I vaguely remember my parents having one of those. My hubby and I were out last weekend and the owner of the restaurant brought hubs out a shot of brandy dated back from 1918 he found in an estate sale. Believe it or not it was pretty smooth! We should have asked for it warmed up 🙂

  4. I just came across one of these at an Estate sale and picked it up.

    What fuel do you use?

    Does the flame leave a black residue on the glass?

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