Trying to figure out who made a particular pot or pan? Here are some of the pages and posts I’ve made that I think can help.
When you have a piece of copper in front of you, the first thing to look for are stamps in the copper. Stamps generally represent one of the following:
- The maker of the pot: I’ve written Field Guides for a few of the more prominent makers, as well as for some of the smaller manufacturers in Villedieu-les-Poêles.
- The store that sold the pot: See the Index of store stamps for a running list of stores that stamped their name on French copper.
- “Made in France”: Pots made after 1957 had to be stamped “France” or “Made in France” in accordance with the newly-formed EEC, and different makers had their own version of the stamp. See my post on “Made in France” to some clues that may help you link the pot to its maker.
- Numbers: A two-digit number is usually the diameter of the pan in centimeters, while a one-digit number is usually a reference number to match the pan and its lid to its spot on the shelf of a busy kitchen. I’ve taken a stab at connecting the typefaces of number stamps with known makers.
- The name of initials of the owner: Sometimes the owner of the pot had a name or initials added to their copper. If it’s a famous hotel or restaurant (or even a royal crest!) it can make the piece more valuable. Google the words or acronyms you find — for inspiration, you can take a look at some of mine that I think have some historical interest.
Estimating the age of vintage copper
You can sometimes estimate the age of a pan by looking for signs of hand-craftsmanship. The more signs of hand-work, the older the pan likely is.