This lovely sauté is a standout.
|Type||Tin-lined sauté in hammered finish with cast iron handle attached with three copper rivets|
|French description||Sauteuse étamée et martelée avec queue de fer fixée de trois rivets en cuivre|
|Dimensions||26cm diameter by 7.3cm tall (10.2 by 2.9 inches)|
|Weight||3850g (8.5 lbs)|
|Maker and age estimate||Gaillard; 1930s-1950s? (revised)|
This sauté pan is sized for a home cook, but at 3.3mm it is as thick as a restaurant piece and that makes it special. In my experience copper thicker than 3mm was primarily offered in sizes over 30cm diameter — that is, pieces at the scale of commercial restaurant kitchens. This sauté is more manageable in size, but its extra mass — 8½ pounds, heavy for a home cook! — makes it exceptionally even-heating.
It’s also really lovely. The martelage has large facets like the hexagonal scales on a turtle’s shell.
Unusually for a Gaillard piece of the modern era (at least in my experience), the base is also hammered. This is a nice touch both stylistically and functionally. Surface hammering like this is not simply for the appearance but also to work-harden the copper and make it more resistant to dents.
The handle is cast iron, and has been filed to remove burrs from the casting. The rivets have been finished to shallow cones.
The interior rivet heads are almost smooth but I detect what I think are faint numbers, as I would expect to see on a modern era pan with mass-produced rivets.
Stephen says, “The pan was bought on eBay and was in excellent condition except for the tin so I sent it off to East Coast Tinning and Jim did his usual excellent work.” I agree — the pan looks beautiful, inside and out.
Finally, I wish to note that this pan has an excellent and clear example of the genuine Gaillard stamp for the 1930s-1940s period. I believe this stamp fits in the period after the “J. GAILLARD” stamps of Jules Gaillard, a period of production that I believe ended in the mid to late 1930s. There are multiple “Gaillard Paris” stamps that followed, and I believe this was one of the first, which puts it from the late 1930s to perhaps the late 1940s or early 1950s. It does not have any beveled planes around the base which suggests 1940s (post-WWII) to me, but that is a guess. (My earlier estimate was 1960s-80s but I think this was incorrect on my part. As always, these time estimates are just that — the mid-20th century copper production is poorly documented, and I am still learning.)
What I really love about this piece is that it is very usable. I don’t just mean its size — I mean that it feels modern and robust. If you are looking for a piece like this, keep an eye out for this Gaillard mark, as well as pieces stamped for Matfer and Williams-Sonoma. Check for weight: a 26cm sauté that is 3mm thick should weigh over 8 lbs.
Steve, thank you for sharing this lovely piece with us. It is a great find in excellent shape and I know you will love using it!