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?