A cauldron is a vessel similar to a bucket or kettle and is used to brew and hold potions and also may be used to carry supplies. Cauldrons are heated over an open fire and can be hung over a fire from an iron handle.
Cauldrons were once used by Muggles and wizards alike, being large metal cooking pots that could be suspended over fires. In time, magical and non-magical people alike moved on to stoves; saucepans became more convenient and cauldrons became the sole province of witches and wizards, who continued to brew potions in them. A naked flame is essential for the making of potions, which makes cauldrons the most practical pot of all.
While cauldrons remain classic potion-making utensils, there have been attempts to revolutionise the cauldron, like the invention of the Self-Stirring Cauldron by Gaspard Shingleton, or the Collapsible Cauldron. Humphrey Belcher once theorised "the time was ripe for a cheese cauldron" (Albus Dumbledore would later comment he had been "woefully wrong" in this belief).
The fire crab, which resembles a tortoise with a jewelled shell that shoots fire out its back end, is prized for its shell for use as a cauldron. This practise of poaching has lead to protected colonies in its native habitat of Fiji island.
All cauldrons are enchanted to make them lighter to carry, as they are most commonly made of pewter or iron. Modern inventions include the self-stirring and collapsible varieties of cauldron, and pots of precious metal are also available for the specialist, or the show-off.
In general, cauldrons must stand up to great wear and usage. As one of his first assignments with the Ministry of Magic, Percy Weasley worked with the Department of International Magical Cooperation lobbying for a standard for cauldron thickness. Apparently, there was an issue with sub-standard imported cauldrons having defective, thin bottoms. Perhaps this is the cause for Neville Longbottom's knack for melting cauldrons during Potions class. First years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry used pewter standard size 2 cauldrons, as mentioned on the list that accompanied their Hogwarts acceptance letter.
Types of cauldron
Here is a list of known types of cauldrons, including those created as a joke:
- Self-Stirring Cauldron
- Collapsible Cauldron
- Exploding Cauldron
- Sloshing Cauldron
- Cheese Cauldron
- Copper Cauldron - can be purchased for the price of 25 Galleons at Potage's Cauldron Shop in Diagon Alley.
- Brass Cauldron - can be purchased for the price of 21 Galleons at Potage's Cauldron Shop in Diagon Alley.
- Pewter Cauldron - can be purchased for the price of 15 Galleons at Potage's Cauldron Shop in Diagon Alley.
- Silver Cauldron
- Solid Gold Cauldron
Cauldrons in wizarding culture
- The Leaky Cauldron of London is a popular pub for Wizards.
- Cauldron Cakes are treats beloved by wizarding children.
- Singer Celestina Warbeck sings tunes called "You Stole My Cauldron but You Can't Have my Heart," and "A Cauldron Full of Hot, Strong Love."
- Chocolate Cauldrons are boxed chocolates (eight to a box), shaped like cauldrons and filled with firewhiskey.
Behind the scenes
- In the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the song Something Wicked This Way Comes was performed by the Hogwarts Student Choir at the Sorting Feast. The lyrics are taken from the opening scene of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. It was by John Williams.
- Pottermore allows users to brew potions. When making them, ingredients are added to the cauldron, sometimes after being crushed with the pestle and mortar. The cauldron must be kept at the right temperature using the buttons below the cauldron on the brewing page; if the temperature is too high, the cauldron will melt and the potion maker will lose five points. When a cauldron melts, it cannot be reused and the potion maker must replace it with a new one from Potage's Cauldron Shop.
- Users of Pottermore are allowed to own only one of every available type of cauldron at Potage's Cauldron Shop - Pewter Cauldron, Copper Cauldron, Brass Cauldron.
- There exists a business which fixes cauldrons.
- In the wizarding sport Creaothceann, players wear cauldrons strapped to their heads.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Quidditch Through the Ages
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- Wonderbook: Book of Potions
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ Pottermore - New from J.K. Rowling: "Cauldrons"
- ↑ Wizard of the Month
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 10 (The House of Gaunt)
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 5 (Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Pottermore
- ↑ Quidditch Through the Ages, Chapter 2 - (Ancient Broom Games)