A melting ladle is a small metal or porcelain fireproof spoon (approx. 15 cm long) with a pouring spout, which jewelers like the goldsmith or silversmith use to melt wax.
The wax makes a positive model that - once solidified - will be used to make a negative cast; the again positive casting in this mold will show the original model in every detail.
See also the melting pot. [MOT]