A hot water bottle is a container filled with hot water and sealed with a stopper. They date back to the 16th century and have traditionally been used for bed warming.
Hot water bottles are nowhere near as popular as they used to be and nowhere near as elaborately designed, which is why the older style bottles are of interest to the collector. It is also possible to get modern reproductions of old style bottles.
Generally bottles can be found in bric-a-brac shops, on car boot sales and collectors fairs, as well as in antique shops and at antique fairs. Some have even been found intact buried in peoples gardens. you never know where they might turn up.
Collectors can be of all ages and you are never too young or old to start a collection.
Hot water bottle collectors can come from varying backgrounds but they will all have the interest in the design or manufacturer of the bottle. Many are interesting shapes and carry interesting inscriptions or writing.
Containers for warmth in bed were in use as early as the 16th century. In the early days, they contained hot coals, but soon after, hot water was used. The containers were made of a variety of materials like copper, wood, ceramic, glass and zinc. When flasks were made of metal, a soft cloth bag would be wrapped around the container to prevent burning. Modern hot water bottles are usually manufactured from rubber, and are commonly covered in fabric.
Prior to the invention of a rubber which could withstand sufficient heat, hot water bottles took the form of bed warmers, typically made of metal or earthenware and sealed with a cork stopper. The hot water bottles of Victorian times were earthenware with cork stoppers either shaped like jugs or flasks. Due to the size of the majority of older hot water bottles, allowance must be made for storage purposes. Also care should be exercised when handling as some may be very fragile.
Can be picked up from car boot sales relatively cheaply. Expect to pay more when sourcing from antique shops or fairs.
Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.
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