Trying to figure out who made a particular pot or pan? Here are some of the pages and posts I’ve made that I hope can help you.
When you have a piece of copper in front of you, the first thing to look for are stamps — words, numbers, logos, or symbols that were pressed into the copper. Stamps can help identify not only the maker of a pot, but the time period in which it was made.
Here are some of the different types of stamps you might find, and information I’ve gathered about what they represent.
The maker of the pot
I’ve written “field guides” for a few of the more prominent makers, with an emphasis on the different styles of stamps they had and my best estimate of the time period each stamp was in use.
If your piece isn’t stamped with one of the more well-known names, you can check this list of 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.
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 to its lid, and perhaps also 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 or 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.
- All about brass handles
- All about dovetails
- All about rivets
- All about rolled rims
- All about the dot