Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Le Creuset History: Cousances

In my search for vintage Le Creuset, I occasionally come across either unmarked pieces or those that bear the markings "Cousances Made in France".  In the 1950s, Le Creuset purchased their competitor Cousances' brand and factory, inheriting the classic flame colour scheme and molds for their cast iron cookware.


I was really excited one day when I found a local craigslist ad for Cousances cookware - I believe it was a #18 and #16 saucepot plus a skillet. You can see by the seller's photos that the small pot is "brand new" and never used despite being over 60 years old! The high resolution version of this photo shows that the sticker says "Cousances fonte émailée" (enamelled cast iron) and reads "Anno 1553" above a shield logo.


The knobs on the lids also read Cousances, which would probably help to date it and differentiate it from this piece I happily found in the past, which I suspect may be a bit older.

Alas, I hesitated and it went to another home. I really didn't need the skillet, and the list price was $85 for the set of three, which led me to pause and think. Since I love Le Creuset cookware so much, it would have been nice to have a cute little set in this timeless colour, with all the history I seem to enjoy learning about!

11 comments:

  1. Love vintage Le Creuset and Descoware - such great pieces! I would've paused at $85 too, but only because it's not my color - if my kitchen were orange, I probably woulda popped for it :)

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  2. Confession - I normally hate orange, but when it comes to Le Creuset and Tupperware, I guess I lose all my senses and think differently. =)

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  3. I am so excited! I found an orange Le Creuset stock pot today at at antique store for only $22! I remembered reading your posts about Le Creuset and the bottom of the pot only has an "E"...not sure what that stands for but the inside of the lid says E and Le Creuset and Made in France. How can I tell if it is vintage...it definitely looks well used. Also, do you know if they can be put in the dishwasher? Can you email me? {erinink@gmail.com} Thanks! :)

    --Erin {erinink.etsy.com}

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  4. Erin, congratulations on your find! First of all the size "E" basically tells you that it is a vintage piece, as they no longer use sizing by letters any more. I would recommend not using the dishwasher - I'll send you an email to request a photo of the piece.

    Just a note, I'm planning to post a sizing guide for Le Creuset pieces so stay tuned for more information!

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  5. hi,new 2 the world of creuset lovers! i've always admired a piece my g-granmother gave me some yrs ago, appears 2 be flame colored type glaze, she told me it was a small dutch oven.the lid has the letter "A" no other markings, the bottom says "le creuset made in france with an A surrounded by a square diamond" probably a 1 qt. by the looks of it. what peaked my curiosity was a call frm mom asking me if i knew anything about cuisinart cookware...not really so went to trusty internet.well either mom can't read or she needs new glasses but what she had were 4 pieces of vintage creuset! well i never really heard of them either till now! all i can say is WOW!! she purchased her pieces at a steal frm $10-$8 each at a thrft store. 1-12qt doufeu flame, 1-71/4 french oven brown w/cast black handle on lid,1-looks like a squat smaller version of the oven in yellow,and i think a large fryng pan in yellow.i'm doing more reseach if i find anything out will let u know wish me luck...stacey

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  6. Hiya - I just took delivery of this eBay score,

    http://i53.tinypic.com/v7ayq9.jpg

    $20! not bad, although it doesn't have the base. I have a couple of other LC fondues, though, so I'm all set for bases.

    I was wondering whether you've ever seen this design?

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  7. Great to hear about your deals, Biscuit and Anonymous!

    The fondue pot with script is a beauty; I've only seen it on ebay. A reader emailed me once with a design on her Le Creuset dutch oven. She phoned their info line to ask about it, and received the name of the pattern!

    Feel free to read all about that here: http://sixballoons.blogspot.com/2011/06/le-creuset-1980s-floral-design.html

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  8. I inherited some of the same items. They were given as a wedding present in 1975. And to confirm they were not a "vintage" present the boxes have the recycling symbol on the side. So Le Creuset were still producing them in the 1970s under the Cousances brand. No idea when they stopped though.

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  9. Hello,

    I found a Le Creuset french oven in flame that seems to be very old. The handle on the lid is a metal loop, and the bottom of the pot says "10Bis".

    The outside enamel is in great shape, but the inside is in bad shape.

    Do you happen to know how old it is, and whether it's worth something? Or should I just return it to Le Creuset for a new one? :)

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  10. I too am new to Le Creuset and bought a skillet on ebay that stated it was a LeCreuset but when I received it I noticed that there was no imprint on the bottom of the skillet but it has a wooden handle that says Le Creuset. Did I get taken or did they at one time make them like that?

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  11. I think there was a time that pieces themselves were unmarked. Does it have a number in a circle or diamond somewhere, and Made in France?

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