French and Belgian Copper and Brass
(c) Vin Callcut 2002-2017. Small extracts can be used with acknowledgements to 'Oldcopper.org' website.
Helpful comments are very welcome.
The French have a long tradition of making excellent copper and brassware. Copperware is known generally as Dinanderie after one of the earliest medieval centres of excellence, Dinant, now in Belgium. Production has followed all the needs of the interior decorator from simple and minimalist through all the recognised periods. Intricate designs are frequently found in well crafted castings.
Much metalware that is recognisably French in design and manufacture bears no makers mark.
Other marks are proving very difficult to identify. Help will be much appreciated, especially on this topic, and acknowledged. Some work is now procured from copper workshops in former colonies such as Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Dinanderie - a mark under a souvenir jug from the historical medieval brassmaking town of Dinant-on-Meuse, Belgium. Zinc ore was mined locally from the hilly banks of the River Meuse to be used alloying with copper to make the brass. The word is sometimes used loosely in the description of similar items of quality copper and brassware. Interestingly, birds are perched on the crossed hammers of the metalworkers. Also now stamped 'Made in Belgium' since borders have moved.
The mark of 'A Rawlin', a maker from Dinant found under a brass vase. Further information welcome.
The last of the dinandiéres still working in Rue du Moulin, Dinant, Belgium. He is raising the characters on a nameplate.
A visit to Dinant is very rewarding, especially with a visit to a splendid museum of dinanderie in Bouvignes, just outside the town.
'Flamiche' is the local speciality of the Royale Confrérie des Quarteniers de la Flamiche Dinantaise (C.Q.F.D.)
Bté S.G.D.G. Breveté Sans Guarantie du Government, design registration mark, without government guarantee. This is a near-equivalent to 'Patent applied for' and was used after 1844. (Thanks to Greg Rahn and the BL). This is because the mark was issued without examination of the design. It is most frequently used after 1844 but the Wikipedia article lists the 1791 revolution statue as the start of the patent system. The 1800 & 1844 Statues to update the 1791 laws.
'L C ' and fouled anchor mark found on a copper coffee pot and many similar items dating from the 1920s-1930s. The anchor is said to represent the French Naval Medical service but the mark appears on many items for the domestic market. The mark has been up for identification since this website was started in 2002. No suggestions have been received. Right - a later version of the same mark under a spirit kettle. (courtesy James Ireland).
L Cadec Ltd.,Cadec's Cookware shop, 52, Greek Street, Soho, London establsihed by M & Mmme Louis Cadec c1910, vendors of French copper cookware in London under their own name.
Christofle & Cie., Saint Denis, France, founded 1831, was one of the earliest and most important European suppliers of japonisme (Japanese-inspired) metalwork. The firm still flourishes and remains a leading European producer of silver and electroplated art metal ware. Many of their best items were designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich but they also made a range of factory made Dinanderie. This mark is under a porringer.
Eclat unknown mark on table lighter.
FAIB, unknown mark on copper tray.
Les Cuirvres de Faucogney. Further details welcome.
Henry IV commemorative copper - see entry for Pau below.
DeHillerin , cookware, founded 1820. Paris, France. More information welcome.
F Lejeurne, 76, rue Vaneau, Paris. more details welcome.
AR (or AP?) unknown mark on cast brass French pen tray. More information welcome.
Guaranti Villedieu plus a one pint capacity mark on a 'Guernsey' type jug. Villedieu-les-Poêles is a town some distance South West of Caen in Normandy, France. It has been a copper-working centre since it was granted to the Knights Templar by Henry 1, King of England and Duke of Normandy in the 12thcentury. The Corporation of Coppersmiths of Villedieu was recognised by the subsequent Kings of France in the 14thcentury which has lead to the ‘Guaranti Villedieu’ warranty of origin. The town has escaped the worst effects of wars through the centuries and retains medieval charm and a number of shops making and selling copperware from souvenirs through cookware to complete batteries de cuisine. Bell foundries were set up by immigrants from Lorraine about 1780 and visits are still possible.
AJM Couteil, 2 rue Carnot, Villedieu.
Boutique de la Fonderie de Cloches (Bell Foundry) Rue du Pont Chignon, Villedieu.
Cadeaux Souvenirs, 8 Rue Carnot, Villedieu.
Cuivres Gallien, 08/10 Place de la République, Villedieu.
Etienne Dulin Atelier du Cuivre, 54, Rue du General Huard, F50800 Villedieu les Poêules. (Visitable factory and shop)
Hier et Aujourd'hui 11 Place des Chevaliers de Malte, Villedieu.
La Boutique du Dinandier, 33 place de la République, Villedieu.
La Cuivrerie Sourdine, Michel Lelegard, 20 Rue Carnot, Villedieu.
'FH' monogram of an unknown maker over a Viking type longboat with 'guaranti Villedieu France'.
L. Lecellier Villedieu used a copper working logo.
Paris Bimetal - this mark found on small silver-lined copper serving bowls with handles used for the service of warm brandy or rich sauces. The maker using the crown and clasped hands symbols is not yet identified. The British agents were T. Goode & Son of 19, South Audley Street, London. The broad arrow may mean that it was for use by service personnel.
Mark on a good small copper saucepan supplied recently in France by Cuivre de Cerdon. The mark 'Fabrication Francais is also present but it was said that the items may have been made in Morocco for distribution in France.
Cockerel found as a maker's mark on a French saucepan. Information on maker welcome. (Ack. Sarah Foulis).
Copper from Pau commemorating King Henry IV
"URBIS PALLUDUM ET GENTIS"
Souvenir copperwares made during the 1930s in Pau in the South of France, birthplace of King Henry IV in 1553. There are a selection of trays and holloware including a large wine cooler or jardinière. They are decorated with the coat of arms of Pau and frequently include 'H IV' which is allowed ever since 1829 to acknowledge his birthplace. The copper is soft and relatively thin. The patterns are mostly picked out freehand with a pin punch. The quality of some is better than others. Made for the tourist market and fairly common. Information on the identity of the coppersmith(s) would be very welcome and acknowledged.
Pau, capital of the province of Béarn and is situated just North of the Pyrenees and 100km from the Atlantic ocean. The town motto reads "URBIS PALLUDUM ET GENTIS". (Safeguard of the city and the Nation), The shield includes details relating to local features and history that are covered in more detail. Pau Coat of Arms.
One of at least three sizes of tray bearing the coat of arms and the royal fleur-de-lys.
This small souvenir cauldron may commemorate king Henry's love of 'poule-en-pot' chicken stew. The detail includes a symbolic peacock.
The coat of arms on the ice bucket include the king's crown and two boar's heads.
The royal fleu-de-lys.
A jardinière with the simple crown of Henry IV