Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vintage Le Creuset Flame Coloured Oval Cocotte!

The ever elusive Le Creuset vintage oval #26 cocotte is finally mine! It has foiled me twice, but it was third time lucky for me this weekend. The first time I saw this piece in person, it was in a beautiful turquoise aqua colour. I shared my discovery and decision not to buy it at this post regarding the Turquoise Aqua Le Creuset Cocotte.

Then last week when I was purchasing my Pyrex Primary Mixing Bowls from the seller who was moving out of town, she revealed to me that she has just sold an oval flame coloured cocotte exactly like it. In perfect condition. For $15.  EEEEK!  I was so stunned I couldn't even speak.

You may have seen this piece as part of Le Creuset's Heritage Collection which sells on Amazon, as I mentioned it as one of my Christmas wishlist items! Le Creuset brought this piece back in the iconic flame colour, indicating on their website that it is a "design directly from the Le Creuset archives of the 1930s and 1940s."

I almost chose to not purchase this oval dutch oven. You see, I went to my first estate sale ever on Saturday, and finally got in after about one hour in the lineup. There were many dealers in the batch of people that got in ahead of me, and there were no advance photos or anything - just the promise that there was "some" Le Creuset items. I peered wistfully into the window from my spot in the lineup as a fellow carried out a perfect Le Creuset Cobalt Blue dutch oven.

By the time I got in, the place was fairly picked over. This was sitting on a table priced much higher than I expected and the condition inside was pretty terrible. I was so disappointed that I left it and went to pay for a couple of small items. The seller remembered me from emails with my condolences and our conversations about vintage Le Creuset that might be at the sale. She said she appreciated my emails and sold me the piece for $25!  She wanted to make sure that her mother's beloved piece of Le Creuset would be cared for by someone who appreciated it.

That was my first experience at an estate sale in Vancouver as they are not common here. Certainly there was a melancholy tone, but the sellers were upbeat and happy to meet people who appreciated their parents' collectibles.

Now here's the question - is the condition so bad inside that I should use it for decorative purposes only? Or would you be comfortable cooking in it?


  1. What a beautiful oven!! These colors have always been my favorite. I will be very interested to see what people think as far as condition and cookability. :)

  2. nice find, love these color! depends if the brown is just discoloration from previous usage and you can scrub it or is it rust? but it still would make a great display.

  3. Great acquisition!! (it was your original post about the aqua casserole that led me to your blog)

    If its not scratched right thru to the cast iron, I see no reason why you can't use it. Mine was pretty stained from past use, and the enamel is scratched but not damaged otherwise. I let it sit with a strong bleach solution for an hour or so and most of the staining lifted nicely. I do the same with the insides of any stained Pyrex.

  4. Congrats! I found one recently for £3 and I love it. Personally I wouldn't worry about the discolouration unless it's actually rusty...

  5. I would try soaking with bleach to see how clean it can get, if it bothers you that much. But, the discoloration should not prevent you from using it. Love the color, btw.

  6. True, I think it's probably "safe" if there's no rust. However, when the enamel sheen is gone, the non-stick properties of the pot are pretty well gone too, I figure.

    I think further use will cause it to brown even more since it gets harder and harder to clean and keep clean. It might just be worth an experiment to find out for sure.

  7. Sure you've tried everything by now, but my suggestion: Bon Ami or Barkeeper's Friend. They can remove things that you would never come out!


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