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May 14, 2014 10:41 AM

Is there anything wrong with this copper pot?

Is the pot starting to crack?

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  1. Hi, GOJIRA:

    LOL, no, nothing is wrong with the pan.

    What you show in your photo is merely the dovetail seam and a little of the brass brazing used to join the pan. if you look carefully at the bottom of the pan, you will also see a similar seam running completely around the bottom.

    This construction was used before the Industrial Revolution provided metalworkers with powered lathes and presses that could muscle a pan out of a single piece of copper.

    There are still artisans who can do this kind of joinery, so you can't say for *sure* your pan is very old merely because it is dovetailed. But looking at the other aspects you show, I'm 95% confident your pan is c1890 or earlier. By the way, I see a vertical maker's mark to the right of the handle. If it says what I think it says, this is probably a *very* nice pan.

    More photos?


    12 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Actually, its not my pot. I was thinking about buying it. Its Dehillerin. Was this the maker that you suspected of being stamped onto the pot?

      I finally decided not to buy the pot though. The pot is not in the best condition as the handle is already cracked by the rivets. It will have to be replaced. Plus a helper's handle will have to be added as it weighs around 24 lb. when empty. It hurts me to part with it but its just too much hassle and it scares my college student wallet. I'll just wait for a nicer one, hopefully with a spigot. I let a Gaillard one run away once, extra forte and complete with spigot, and I hope to find one like it once again.

      But thanks for the info. I learned a lot.

      1. re: GOJIRA

        Hi, GOJIRA:

        That's hilarious. Alarash and I have been watching this very pan since yesterday!

        Yes, the vertical mark caused my suspicion it was older Dehillerin.

        I believe this is what the French call a "Casserole Russe" or Russian Saucepan. In this huge size/weight, it is an oddity with that long handle. Less odd if visualized as a stocker.

        For future reference, a decent foundry can easily cast a replacement handle (either/both a replacement and helper). I once had a helper cast and added to a saucepan of similar size, and the cost was very modest. If you were to find a suitable brass spigot, a good smith could add it to a pan like this.

        The same seller has a gorgeous large rondeau for sale, too...


        1. re: kaleokahu

          Its been sitting there for several days already. I saw it as soon as it was listed. Im surprised it hasn't sold as its quite unusual and doesn't come by that often. Had this been listed on the english version of ebay, I have no doubt that it would have been snatched up already.

          Yes, im aware that a good foundry can cast the handles, but im not in a rush and would prefer to wait for a better pot to come along. At this weight, I would be hesitant to change the handle to two smaller ones like on a stockpot but I would feel guilty altering a piece of history like this so drastically. Its better that I leave it for someone else who would appreciate its present form. Had no idea anyone could add a spigot for me though. I'll keep that in mind while I look for stockpots.

          and yeah, I saw the rondeau but I've seen thicker quite often. Better will definitely come by. My parents even saw a thick copper rondeau at the thrift store the other day but it was too heavy for them to carry. too heavy??? I lost a few years of my life that day. I got there and it was already gone.

          Seriously though. With you and alarash watching it, you both would have gave me a mini-heart attack had I still been set on it. I would have broke my piggy bank and searched all sofas for money.

          Thanks for all of the info!!!!!

          1. re: GOJIRA

            Hi, GOJIRA:

            You're welcome. Are you in UK?

            I was going to look again at that rondeau's thickness (it originally looked thick to me), but now it's gone.

            Alarash, you sneak, did you buy it?

            Gojira, if you want a fine rondeau, I have a link for you.


            1. re: kaleokahu

              The rondeau is gone? We must be talking about different listings as the Michel Lyon is still there. I must have missed it.

              Im American.

              and really? I'll send you an email right away.

              1. re: kaleokahu

                Nope I wasn't they buyer. But I'm a little jealous.

              2. re: GOJIRA

                I don't want to hear any stories about copper pots narrowly lost at thrift stores because they were too heavy. I, too, lose years of my life hearing about such things. In all my years, I've never found a good copper pot in a thrift store...

                1. re: alarash

                  Its not typical of a thrift store to have good copper pots but this was no typical thrift store. At the thrift store my parents go to, its not uncommon for wealthy people to donate stuff there.They even had a Banksy painting going for half a million dollars late last year.My brother even got a $1000+ Dior homme jacket there.

                  1. re: GOJIRA

                    What city is it in?
                    I know of a similar place in Houston, but even there I haven't found a great copper pot yet.

                    1. re: alarash

                      nyc. but I wouldn't get your hopes up as they dont really get much in cookware. THEY get more donations in clothing, art, and furniture.

            2. re: GOJIRA

              Dehillerin is a cookware shop in Paris whose speciality is copper. Your pot is probably tin lined and l would not be too worried about the chipped handle near rivet. Though as you said 24 lbs empty without a back handle is a lot. Imagine when filled with stew or soup.
              Nonetheless can you give the contact info of the person selling, l might be interested.
              My contact is on my info page.

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Its actually on ebay:

                I was thinking of negotiating a lower price as things dont sell as fast or as well on the french version of ebay. And yeah, he mentioned it being tin lined but I assumed that already. All of my copper is tin lined so it isn't an issue, especially as it will likely be used for stocks and stews, so overheating it will be less likely.

                That handle bothers me so much. I would have had a similar handle made at the same time as the helper's handle. Plus I want to be safe. But more importantly, its an eyesore that would haunt me every time I use it.

          2. I'd like to buy it... Only half joking ;)

            1. More than half of my old copper pots have identical marks and l have been using them for decades, so as always accurate Kaleokahu says, you are good to go.