Antique Flat Iron that was used heated over an open flame before pressing clothes. The tradition of forging irons to press clothes dates back to the Middle Ages, and variations on the practice were found in many countries.
This one features a WP brand inscripted in a beautiful coat of Arms and a N° 5 inscription on the back side.
Antique irons were originally used in pairs. One would be used while the other heated up, and vice versa. The variable heat from the fire made ironing a delicate process requiring skillful judgment to avoid scorching the cloth.
The irons would need to be cleaned and smoothed often with sand in order to make sure they didn't leave any marks on the clothing. A fine layer of beeswax would be applied to keep clothes from sticking. Much like a cast-iron pan, the irons would also have to be oiled in between uses to prevent rust.