Identification

Cockerel redux

VFC

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Mea culpa. My cockamamie idea is mostly (but not quite utterly) wrong.

Patient readers will recall my fascination with copper pans stamped with a stylish cockerel logo (okay, yeah, it’s just a rooster) and my parallel fascination with pieces fitted with a certain style of brass handle with a decorative scrollwork flourish.

 

I felt incredibly lucky to acquire a lovely 30cm plat à sauter with both the cockerel stamp and the scrollwork handles. With this “missing link” in hand, I hatched (no pun intended) a theory that tied the cockerel stamp to Dehillerin via the store’s present-day rooster logo. My brilliant idea? The rooster came from Lagaldie Frères — Eugène de Hillerin’s first acquisition in 1885, the foundation for his nascent chaudronnerie.

Scrollwork handles and the cockerel stamp

Well, I recently learned from TJFRANCE that I am half-right (or half-wrong, depending on how you look at it): this stamp is the origin of the Dehillerin rooster logo, but it via a different chaudronnerie altogether. Allow me to explain.

The cockerel stamp

As TJFRANCE says, the cockerel never belonged to Lagaldie, but to a Charmois. I verified this with my own research: the logo first appears with chaudronnerie Charmois in the 1870s, and then passed by acquisition to Lasnier in 1888, and then again by acquisition to Dehillerin in 1907.  Here is a condensed version of the chain from end to end. (The slideshow just below shows a series of advertisements to illustrate the timeline.)

  • Charmois began in 1870 as many other Paris chaudronniers did: buying a much older one and assuming its business, in this case a very old firm called Regniaud. From 1871 to 1880 Charmois maintained a simple one-line entry in the Paris directories but in 1881 they splashed out on a wordier (and more expensive) listing. (I suspect it was because they had won a medal at the Paris exhibition of 1878 and enjoyed an increase in business, thus finding themselves with the budget in 1880 for an enhanced listing in the 1881 edition.) That 1881 advertisement is below — note the proud “marque de fabrication AU COQ.
  • The firm’s advertisement in 1885 clinches the deal — that logo is exactly the cockerel in question.
  • Charmois closed its doors sometime around 1887 but by 1888 the name had been bought up by Lasnier, folded in along with Aubry (another hallowed Parisian maker) to its business at 7 rue Saint-Simon. The 1889 advertisement notes that J. Lasnier is successeur to both Aubry and Charmois.
  • Finally, in 1907, Dehillerin purchased Lasnier. The 1908 listing for Lasnier notes the change in ownership (“successeur Dehillerin”) but retains the “marque de fabrication AU COQ.” (Note also how Dehillerin in 1908 still lays claim to that medal won by Charmois thirty years prior in 1878!)

 

The connection between the cockerel stamp and the scrollwork handles appears solid: they both show up in the 1907 Dehillerin catalog, published right after the Lasnier acquisition. This edition of the Dehillerin catalog looks like a repurposing of the existing Lasnier catalog — it has the Lasnier cockerel logo on every page. But most importantly for my purposes, the product drawings also clearly show the distinctive scrollwork handles. (I wish I could reproduce it for you, but alas, TJ will not allow it.) This gives me confidence that the cockerel logo and the scrollwork handles were part and parcel of the Lasnier style. But could they be of different origin — say, the cockerel from Charmois and the handles from Aubry, both folded into Lasnier in 1889? There is always more to discover.

I do not believe that Dehillerin continued to use the scrollwork handles much after 1907. To my eye the scrollwork handles retain an antique sensibility that is at odds with Dehillerin’s heavy restaurant-grade hardware, and perhaps Dehillerin agreed.

So where does this leave us? It looks like my plat à sauter is indeed a step along the path that leads to Dehillerin, but it is via a different route than I thought. I also must extend the time window for my scrollwork-handled pieces. If Charmois originated the stamp and the handle style in 1871 and Lasnier continued to use both until 1907, then these pieces could have been made any time during that 36-year period.

Scrollwork handles and the cockerel stamp

I’m going to keep my original post published — Scrollwork handles and the cockerel stamp. It’s not completely trash, but I’ll add a note about where my analysis goes off the rails. I do my best to be correct but I do make mistakes and I hope that honesty about my errors will sustain your faith in me even when I’m wrong.

Once again, my thanks to TJFRANCE for his superior research here.

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2 Comments

  1. Knowledge is a constant cycle of questions, searching, finding and renewesd questioning. Perhaps what I appreciate most is that VFC is always open to suggestions and therefore capable of learning and developing. This is exactly why I trust VFC.

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