Now this is a good-looking pan.
- Type: Tin-lined sauté pan in hammered finish with an iron handle fitted with three copper rivets
- French description: Sauteuse étamée et martelée avec queue en fer munie de trois rivets en cuivre
- Dimensions: 40cm diameter by 11 cm high (15.7 inches by 4.1 inches)
- Thickness: 3.7mm at rim
- Weight: 9170g (20.2 lbs)
- Stampings: “MADE IN FRANCE”
- Maker and age estimate: Mauviel; 1990s
- Source: harestew
This sauté pan is what is called “new old stock” — it’s a vintage piece that has never been used — and though it’s unstamped, I’m pretty certain it was made by Mauviel (not least because the seller, Harestew, told me it was and she knows her stuff). At 3.7mm thickness and 20 pounds in weight, this is one of Mauviel’s restaurant-grade pieces. And as Harestew pointed out to me, the pan has an unusually beautiful pattern of martelage on its surface.
I count twelve distinct rows of hammer marks running up the walls of this pan. The hammer strikes are small and neat; it would have taken quite some time for a craftsman to lay down twelve rows of this gorgeous regular pattern around the circumference of this pan — that’s 54 feet of hammering. I love hammered finish pans because the size and depth of the hammering is like the signature of its maker.
That’s a standard modern-era Mauviel cast-iron handle, with rivets spread wide to help support the weight of this heavy piece.
The inside of this pan is a great example of factory-fresh Mauviel tin that has sat untouched for ten years or more.
A Mauviel factory tin lining has an almost mirror finish. The tell-tale swirls of hand-wiping are faint. Lovely as this is, it’s ephemeral beauty; this tin will rapidly reorganize itself when it comes into contact with heat and food and take on a dull grayish finish, so bask in this perfection now.
But it’s the hammered finish on the outside that I find so beautiful, and that’s forever. If you will indulge me…
Afternoon sunlight and copper, a love affair…