A pipkin is an earthenware cooking pot used for cooking over direct heat from coals or a wood fire. They were not held in direct flame which would crack the ceramic. It has a handle and many (though not all) examples had three feet. Late medieval and post-medieval pipkins had a hollow handle into which a stick might be inserted for manipulation. Examples exist unglazed, fully glazed, and glazed only on the interior.

Medieval pipkins found in Hamburg/Germany (1200-1400).

While often spheroidal, they were made with straight outwardly-sloping sides.[1] They were occasionally made with lids or pouring spouts.


The pipkin, also called a three-legged pot (marmite (fr.), Grapen (ger.)), is sometimes used as a charge in heraldry. It is especially common in arms in Brandenburg, Pomerania and East Prussia.

It is used in the canting arms for the German families von Grape,[2] Grapengießer and Grappendorf, and Groppe von Gudenberg.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Pipkin, Place of origin: England (made) Hampshire (possibly, made) Date: ca. 1500-1600 (made)". V&A. Victora & Albert Museum, London. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
  2. ^ Gert Oswald: Lexikon der Heraldik. VEB Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1984.

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