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Oct 1, 2012 10:04 AM

Old copper pot

Hi I have posted to severaal antique sites without getting any help. I am hoping someone on this forum can help me identify this old copper pot. It is hand hammered copper with one side dovetail seam and dovetail seaming around the bottom. It has been hand riveted using copper rivets. The copper is very thiick and the bottom is rounded. The handle appears to be molded/cast and is either brass or copper. The pot measures 7 3/4 inches wide, 5 1/2 inches in height and with handle up it measures 9 1/2 inches in height. Thank you for any and all information!

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  1. Hi, patti:

    In all likelihood, what you have here is a pre-1880 handmade pot intended for hearth cooking. These things were made by individual copper- and silversmiths, so without a mark or other provenance, it is virtually impossible to tell you who made it. The joinery and escutcheon surfaces appear American to my eye, and are also consistent with it being made much earlier than 1880, possibly Revolutionary times.

    However, the "rounded" bottom looks a little like it may have begun life a lot flatter than it is now, so it may have been intended to work on a stove as well as hung on a crane and trammel. Years of unsupported use can dome the bottoms out like this one appears.

    If you are interested in restoring it to cooking condition, let me know at I may have some links for you. Likewise if you are looking to sell or get an appraisal.

    I'm very interested in what appears to be the narrowed neck--it took a high level of skill to do that, and I've not seen one like this in my years of collecting.


    3 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Hi Kaleo,

      Thank you so much for your reply and information! I have been all over the internet reading and looking at pictures of other copper pots. So far I haven't found another one quite like this. I am sooo tempted to clean it and see if there are any markings on it however, I know better. It is definitely a very early piece and it is really quite primitve. I believe it has been used a lot. I just love finding pieces like this and I truly enjoy researching items and learning about them. I love having something in my hands with so much history behind it...if only it could talk the tales it could probably tell. I would like to get an expert to look at it for the time period it is from and for a valuation, If you know someone that would be most helpful. Again, thank you for being so very kind to help me. Patti

      1. re: patti1998

        The National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis would be a good resource. They can't give appraisals but they may be able to pin down a time period and/or region of manufacture.

        If you contact them soon they may be able to circulate photos amongst the volunteers for Repair Days (starts soon). These volunteers are often the who's who in metal workers/artists/instructors in the US. If they don't know chances are they will be able to suggest someone who does.

        1. re: meatn3

          Hi meatn3,

          Thank you so very much for your information. I will call them tomorrow and ask if I can email them pictures. Thank you again, Patti

    2. I came across this old copper bowl with handles that appears to have similarities to this old copper pot; i.e., round bottom, hammered copper handles w/ rough inner surface...
      Can you give me any history on it, please?
      Thanks in advance,