I suspect so, but I’m not sure. Update: I think it’s genuine.
Reader Zoë sent me photos from a listing on a second-hand website in Asia for a set of Mauviel M’150S — steel-lined cookware with stainless steel handles. Please take a good look.
Photo 1: Stewpot
Photo 2: Saucepan
Photo 3: Skillet
Photo 4: Sauté pan
Photo 5: Group photo
Zoë thinks the steel-lined pieces are not steel-lined copper but instead copper-plated steel, and I think she might be right.
Update, 23 September: These aren’t faux M’150S but rather mischaracterized Mauviel for Williams-Sonoma tri-ply. I didn’t recognize them as such because I’m focused on vintage copper and I don’t track Mauviel’s current product lines.
Williams-Sonoma has always commissioned “exclusive” lines from Mauviel, usually minor modifications to existing products. In this case, Williams-Sonoma’s “Mauviel copper triply cookware” is steel, aluminum, and copper, essentially Mauviel’s M’Urban tri-ply stainless line with an outer layer of copper instead of steel. That’s why the rim looks to be all silver — the copper is just .5mm thick, the inverse of M’150.
But the difference between tri-ply and M’150S is more than structural: there’s a big price gap as well. According to current Williams-Sonoma pricing, tri-ply retails for 30% less than M’150S. A screaming deal on M’150 that happens to be tri-ply instead may not be as deep a discount as it seems (not to mention that you’re not getting actual M’150!).
The lesson for me? I need to do more research before jumping to conclusions. I’m leaving this post up in the spirit of transparency and as a reminder to myself to do my homework. But my embarrassment is tinged with a hint of reassurance to learn that the packaging and inserts are not unnervingly convincing counterfeits after all. My thanks to eagle-eyed readers who recognized the same discrepancies as I did, and my apologies to all for raising the alarm!
The immediate red flag for me is the rim of each pan. Mauviel M’150 pans are composed of 1.3mm of copper bonded to .2mm of steel, so the rim of an M’150 pan is roughly 85% copper and 15% steel. If you haven’t already, look closely at the rim of each pan above. They are mostly steel with a very narrow outer band of copper. This cross-section suggests to me that the pans above are at least 90% steel. (It’s worth noting that these are straight-lip pans so they could not be mislabeled Mauviel M’6S multi-ply.)
A second red flag is the word “Mauviel” on the handle of the stewpot in photo 5. Look closely — the typeface does not look like the correct Mauviel style to me.
And a third red flag is the lack of copper stamps. I believe Mauviel M’150 of this era should also have a “Mauviel 1830” stamp in the copper to the left of the handle, but I can’t see any stamps at all.
Zoë kindly agreed to share this with all of you to get your opinion. What do you think?
Val Maguire at Southwest Hand Tinning sent me two helpful photos: a close-up photo of a genuine “Mauviel 1830” stainless steel handle baseplate, and the “Mauviel 1830” stamp. Take a look. Photo 5 above doesn’t provide a clear view but I still think the stewpot baseplate looks funny. It could be a trick of perspective or a reflection, though. But I still don’t see stamps on any of the pieces. Val pointed out that the Mauviel stamp is quite finely detailed and might be difficult to counterfeit properly.