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Feb 14, 2010 04:04 PM

Need help identifying hammered copper pots with brass rooster finial and turned molded cast iron handles

I just purchased some rather unique hammered copper pots on Ebay. The largest is a
1.25" high and 8" wide with a turned cast iron handle (at first glance it appeared to be the
traditional wooden handle, but it is molded cast iron). Its lid, also hammered, has a brass rooster finial. The pots appear to be lined in tin, but they could be nickel. There are no markings on the pots, and the handles only have numbers on them. The most unusual of the set is a small pan that measures 1" high and 6" wide. I have no idea what its use might be. If anyone has any leads, I would be most grateful. The pots are heavy, but without markings I am at a loss as to whether to have them re-tinned or not...or whether I can use them. Thank you all very much for your
collective advice.

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  1. Can't help in identifying the maker, but the national symbol of France is a rooster, so your pots may be either French or a French wannabe. Copper cookware can have handles of cast iron, wood, or other materials - mine uses brass.

    From your description, though, with a rooster-shaped finial instead of a proper handle on the lid, I wonder if your pots aren't decorative, not meant for actual cooking. Rooster finials are fairly common on cannisters etc. but not practical on cookware lids that are manipulated when hot. If covered with a protective finish to prevent the copper from tarnishing, that would be an indication, as the lacquer would have to be removed before using a pot for cooking.

    As for the lining, if no copper shows through, the pots shouldn't need retinning to be safe for use.

    3 Replies
      1. re: roosterfinial

        Williams Sonoma carries some pots and pans with decorative handles on the lids.

        1. re: sarge

          Thank you, Sarge. I have Ruffoni pots, and the markings are not there. I also have some other French pots (De Hillerin) and there are no similar markings, either. I am at a loss. However, the W-S connection is a possibiliy, and I checked at our local store, but they did not recognize the pots. Yet, I do remember many years ago seeing the rooster finial on a copper pot....perhaps Portuguese? Who
          knows? Just sent a note to Rocky Mountain Retinning to see if they have any idea.
          Thanks again.

    1. I've seen those rooster knobs on Ruffoni copperware.

      Some copper fish poachers made in Germany and Switzerland have a fish knob.

      Your pots with the Dehillerin hallmark were made by Mauviel, who for most of their history did not mark their own brand name on their cookware, but did mark the names of shops that sold significant quantities of their cookware like Dehillerin, Zabar's, Bridge Kitchenware, Williams-Sonoma, and various others. It's something of a mystery, but Mauviel copperware with the Dehillerin mark commands a higher price than the exact same pieces that were sold in other shops.

      2 Replies
      1. re: David A. Goldfarb

        Thank you, David....the search continues! Your information is most welcome and helpful.

        1. re: roosterfinial

          I just saw David's post and the store I mentioned does carry pots by Mauviel, although not the rooster pots anymore; or at least not on line. The store has been under the same ownership for 30 years so hopefully they'll remember.

      2. Hi, I'm not sure if this will help, but years ago (mid 1990's) I found some hammered copper cookware in a small shop in Alexandria, VA that is as you're describing. Here is a link to their website: If your's is what I saw at that store, you're very lucky!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jgmalara

          thank you so much! i will send la cuisineus a photo and see if they can help! most grateful

        2. I have the opportunity to purchase a: "copper 6-piece cooking pot set 4,5,6,7,8,9" with cast iron handles from France" and know nothing about it other than the photo and what is in quotes. I realize that there isn't much to go on but I was hoping that someone could help and shed some light?

          1 Reply
          1. re: live4food

            l4f: It is difficult to tell much from this information. A 6-pot set is not too common to find, so that has it to recommend it. Cast iron handles are generally preferable, and they have 3 rivets each, so I would say this is a pretty good set. It is neither a good no bad sign if they have no maker's marks (unless you're a brand snob/collector).

            HOWEVER, much depends on weight and condition of the lining. No less than 2mm thick is to be found on a good set, and 3mm and up is not unusual for a premium vintage set (As far as I know, noone is currently making sets like these in 3mm). To goive you some idea of weight, a 9" saucepan in 3mm should weigh between 7 and 8 pounds w/o lid; a 7" should be between 4 and 5. Can you see copper through the linings? If so, they may need retinning, the going rate for which a 9"Diax5"D pan would be over $200.

            A trustworthy seller ought to be able top give you weights and interior photos. Good Luck.

          2. i have some pots like these. i got them on sale at greenfront furniture in farmville, va. they came with a small rack to hang them on, but it didn't appear to match. they are quite heavy and i don't think they would have been only for decoration. they are packed up and i will be going thru stuff soon. once i find them i will send you the name that's on them.