Cupellation furnace, maker unknown, England, 1696-1700.
This furnace was used at the Royal Mint when Isaac Newton was Master. It has been described as Newton’s furnace, but was probably one of several in use there at the time. Cupellation is a metallurgical process which separates gold or silver from impurities by melting the impure metal in a cupel (a flat, porous dish) and then directing a blast of hot air on to it in a furnace such as this one. The precious metal left behind by the process was used to make coins at the Royal Mint.
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