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Dec 21, 2010 08:08 PM

Help Identifying a Copper Stocker???

Today I stumbled onto a HUGE copper stockpot in an antique store. It was so large (16" in diameter x 12" tall) that they were using it as a bin to hold mounted poster art! 3mm thick throughout, the lining was perfect, and the handles are the stoutest, most beautiful bell metal I've ever seen. The price sticker was small and my eyes weak, but I thought I saw "...250". Casually asked the clerk, expecting it to be $1,250. Nope, $250, and then she said: "But we'd take less." Was out of there with it for $185. Weighs over 25 pounds. Dovetail construction, but the bottom work is so fine you can't make it out. The handle rivets (four each) are so finely and flushly fitted you can't see them from outside and just barely inside. The bottom and 2" up the sides appear to be double thickness. Amazing workmanship, like Mora or Gaillard.

So here's my question... I've been seriously collecting (actually, scrounging) high-end copper cookware for a little over a year now. Thought I was getting to a point of knowledge. But I've never seen handles like these, or the maker's mark: "Ellington & Co."

Anyone know anything about Ellington? Country of manufacture? Period?

Edit: OK, I got out the magnifier lamp, and It's "El[K]ington & Co.", which means it's English and probably from the period 1840-1875. Anyone know anything else?

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  1. I do, I do!! [jumping up and waving hand, LOL]

    As soon as I saw "Elkington" I knew: silver. Actually once upon a time I owned a piece of their sterling, a beautiful tray with gorgeous cutwork. They were wellknown Birmingham silversmiths. They produced sterling and also silverplate (in fact, it was Elkington's who first patented the electroplating process) but I never knew they did copperware other than having it as the base for their plated ware.

    Here's an excellent page showing examples of their work in silver. Btw, you can trust the source of the info here; this dealer has been in business for generations and in fact I've been to their store several times back in the 1970s and 1980s. The items they carry, and their knowledge about antique English silver, is top notch; they don't sell "junk".

    Unfortunately, about 8 years ago I had to sell all of the antique silver I'd acquired back in the day, including the Elkington piece. Took them to Sotheby's and was very pleased at the results. So you have a very respectable pedigree for your stockpot. Congrats! :


    You may have already found this, but here's some backstory on Mr. Elkington and his company

    4 Replies
    1. re: dessert_diva

      Does this look like your pot? The dimensions suggest that it might, though what about the handles?

      This one somehow found its way to Africa............!

      Also, some additional commentary found re: Elkington's

      "Elkington & Co. are one of the most important names in English silver and certainly the most important in silver plate. They began life in Birmingham as a company of silversmiths in 1836, and experimented with improving gilding techniques. By 1838 they had discovered and patented a new way to electroplate one metal on to the surface of another. By 1840 production was already underway with silver electroplated wares. The company received financial backing from Josiah Mason in 1842 (renaming the firm Elkington, Mason & Co between 1842 and 1861) and was extremely successful. It introduced electrotyping as a new method of production for silver plated items. Elkington & Co exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 with enormous success."

      1. re: dessert_diva

        DD: The handles look identical, but the one you found in SA looks shorter. Yesterday's find looks taller, and has that double bottom. I'm going to use it as a beverage tub for a Xmas party tonight!

        THANK YOU for all the good information. I owe you one, big time!

        1. re: kaleokahu

          Not at all. :-) You've given me a wealth of information on other threads, so I'm happy to have been able to return the favor!

          Have a great time at your party, and don't let anyone fall into that big copper tub and drown!

          (unless you want to fill it with beer and play the traditional old English game of "bobbing for apples" in it.... that could get interesting real quick, LOL)

          1. re: dessert_diva

            DD: I will try to post a photo of it.

            Thanks again. Happy Holidays.

    2. Great find! Just goes to show you can find a deal anywhere. Knowledge is king.