Help me identify this copper pot?
I've spent the better part of an hour looking for a forum where I could post a picture of an old copper pot and see if anyone can tell me about it - Sadly I have failed utterly. In desperation I am registering and posting here hoping that this site has enough traffic that someone will either know a more appropriate forum or will know the information I seek.
I know nothing about this pot. My folks were going to sell it for a 50 cents in a yard sale, I rescued it, cleaned it up (as best I can) and now I'm looking for more information. All of my other cookware is stainless steel or cast iron so I have no experience with copper.
The underside of the handle says "NEWARK NJ NO 7" There is a "7" on the top of the handle and on the base between the rivets. The maker's mark for the pot is to the right of the handle.
Anyone with any information on this pot or another forum better suited for this post would be greatly appreciated.
Your pot is a generic French-made pot imported into the USA by a company in New York, which is the origin of the 'maker' mark on the copper. It was owned by a person or company in Newark, which stamped their name on the handle.
This was typical of copper in the 20's through the 40's, so your pot probably predates world war 2, and could possibly be from the WW1 years.
This is wonderful information! I never considered that the handle wouldn't have been made in NJ, it just seemed like an awful lot of work for someone to do since it must have been etched out or cast in the original mold, but if it was a common practice they must have just been used to doing it. Thank you!
I'm not an expert, but I have purchased several pieces of commercial-grade copper cookware, manufactured in France.
Your pot looks like a Mauviel sauteuse, tin-lined. Mauviel, and competitors Bourgeat and Falk, make the best copper cookware money can buy. In America, copper cookware that is stainless-lined sells better, but in France, many, many chefs use tin-lined. The difference is that the tin lining can wear through, and it may be happening in your pan, also, if tin is subjected to high heat, it can melt. I don't believe that you can safely cook something in a tin-lined copper pan and finish it in the oven unless you monitor the oven temperature carefully.
Re-tinning tin-lined copper cookware is a dying art, and not many firms are in business doing that today. The reason the integrity of the tin lining is important is because copper is reactive, that's why you need the lining.
I'm just an amateur home cook, I'm sure within a day or two, a professional chef will see your post and put forth better advice. It may well be that the stamping on your pot is that of the vendor, not the manufacturer.
However, it is safe to say, I'm sure, that this is a commercial-grade top quality pan, and should not be given away. Top quality copper cookware may need restoration or TLC, but it will never wear out.
Suggestion: Go to www.e-dehillerin.fr and compare your pan with the Mauviel cookware pictured that is sold at E. Dehillerin in Paris. It certainly looks identical.
re: Greg in Chicago
My pot definitely requires retinning. I've already started pricing it out and it seems it will cost around 55 to 70 dollars including shipping to get the job done depending on the company I use. I absolutely believe its worth it since I have no intention of hanging this piece on the wall, I plan to use it.
What I am considering right now is whether its better to retin the piece or have stainless steel put in. I've read a lot of varying opinions on that, some of which seems based on pure voodoo physics. The biggest thing holding me back right now is a combination of 1) some folks say that once you put a stainless steel lining on a pan and it wears out it can never be redone (no idea why that is), and 2) I haven't found anyone yet that will do the deed. Lots of retinning companies talk about how bad stainless is (and I would expect that THEY would) but I haven't found anyone who will line a pan with stainless steel after its been manufactured.
You haven't found anyone who can provide a stainless steel lining because it can't be done. The stainless lining is created as part of the manufacturing process of the basic copper/steel stock, not applied after the pan is made (as is tin). Stainless linings do not wear out like tin and therefore do not need to be renewed, which is a good thing because there's no process to do it. Your only option, other than some exotic lining like nickel or silver, is to go with the tin. The difference in cooking qualities between a stainless and tin lining is less than many would have you believe and probably not discernible by the typical cook.