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Jul 24, 2011 10:39 AM

Help Identifying Copper Pots - Brass Handle? - Tin Lined? - Made in France

Hi All,

Can anyone help me identify the copper pots in the pictures? When were they made? How long ago? Who made them? Anticipated quality? Value? Use?

I am an Australian holidaying in France at the moment and we bought this matching set of 5 Copper Pots from a flea market in the mountains for 50 Euro today. I polished the outside with Vinegar and Salt (as per a website I read) and they came up amazing! They appear to be in fantastic condition on the outside.

The thickness of each pot appears to be 2mm to 2.5mm and the pot sizes (diameter) are:

1. 8 Inch (20cm)
2. 7 Inch (18cm)
3. 6.5 Inch (16cm)
4. 5.5 Inch (14cm)
5. 4 3/4 Inch (12cm)

Each of the handles is the same length as the diameter of the pot it is on and appear to be brass but I am not sure?

I have given each of the pots a good scrub inside with hot soapy water as they were very dirty and very green from each of them being stacked inside one another.

Each of the pots appear to be form the same matching set and age.

They all have "Made in France" stamped next to the handles of each of them in the same spot.

Are they tin lined? If so, should I get them re tined?
Is the handle Brass?
Any idea about Age?
Any Idea About Quality?
I think they were a good buy at 50 Euro for all 5 pots (about US$70 or AUD$70)?
Are they ok to cook with?

Many thanks in advance :-)

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  1. They look like some mauviel table service line pans I got in the mid-70s. Folk will dis them because the copper is not super heav, but they actually work very well. Use pot holders. The brass handles get really hot really fast.

    1. Hi, Blueys:

      This was a nice find. To answer your questions:

      (1) They are tinned. You do not need to retin unless there is copper showing through that totals about a square inch. From the photos, the linings look only lightly used.

      (2) Yes, the handles are brass.

      (3) The fact that they are stamped in English and without a maker's mark strongly suggests they were made for export and resale. My guess is that these pans could be anywhere from mid 1960s to the present.

      (4) 2-2.5mm wall thickness is good. As Tim mentioned, brass handles get hot fast; the best pans are usually handled in cast iron. They appear not to be planished (hammered), a process that work-hardens the metal. 3mm and over, cast iron handles and planishing when found together are usually signs of the top quality, but these are still very nice pans.

      (5) For 50 Euro, they are a really good deal. Congratulations. Now you just have to get them home.

      (6) Yes, of course they're "OK" to cook in. Regardless of what you're used to using, they should be a revelation, especially their responsiveness. But they need a little extra care and attention. Hand-wash with no abrasives. Deglaze with water on the stovetop to remove stuck and burnt-on food. No metal utensils. Don't polish the linings at all. Be vigilant not to boil them dry, as tin will degrade at about 470F. Don't store them nested metal-on-metal. Don't store acidic foods in them.

      Have fun in France. There are hotel-grade pans to be found there, too.


      4 Replies
      1. re: kaleokahu

        Hi Kaleo and the others

        Thanks very much for all your fantastic information and advice, it is very much appreciated!

        Looking forward to the long trip home and a very memorable purchase.

        Kind regards


        1. re: Blueys

          Hi, Blueys:

          You're very welcome.

          I neglected to ask you if you are familiar with the line of copper cookware that is made in Australia. The brand name escapes me right now, but I recall their website featured pans I thought were well thought-out. Since you now seem bitten by the copperware bug, I'm sure many of us elsewhere in the world might benefit from your review of these Aussie products. If you can find the time.


        2. re: kaleokahu

          Can you tell me anything about this copper pot. No markings. About 9" tall 7" wide

          1. re: Roysnell

            Rustic. Hand beaten. Primitive escutcheons. Wasp waisted. I would guess Turkish and for coffee, but large for that. Idiosynchratic and beautiful. Someone made this thing for someone.

        3. Sometimes you just gotta say Well done and this is one of those times.