Of all the posts I've done since I started this little enterprise last December, one from last February has had way, way, way more hits than any other, mostly due to Google searches involving either a certain kind of Le Creuset hollow-handled sacepan or Dru Holland cast iron cookware (you can read that whole post here if you like). The strange coincidence of my post title today involves the saucepans:
|Le Creuset hollow-handled saucepans.|
The research I did at the time lead me to believe that this particular style of Le Creuset pans with the fat hollow metal handles that are all of a piece with the rest of the pot originated with another company, Cousances, that was bought out by Le Creuset in 1957. The serendipitous new find I've made throws a whole new element into the game:
|Sorry, rather crummy phone pic here.|
As you can see, there is a definite resemblance between these two little pots and the little pots above! The handles and style are the same, and then there's that gorgeous orange flame enamel. The interiors are different - gray on these, and white on the Le Creusets - and unfortunately there's only one lid with this set, and it may not be original to the set, despite the color match - it's not cast iron, it's much lighter. Also these two are the same size. I haven't gotten all four of them together in the same place for comparison, but I don't think these are any bigger than the larger of the two Le Creusets.
But where it gets interesting is this. These are neither Le Creuset nor Cousances. These are marked Trianon, Made in Belgium. So of course, I asked good old Google about "enamel cast iron trianon", and found... not a ton of information. The first thing returned is the most interesting. It's a page from the Milwaukee Journal from December 5th, 1952 with an ad for Trianon "Terraflame":
As you can see it shows not-very-good black and white illustrations of various pots and pans, lettered, with prices listed like in a catalog. G. looks awfully familiar with its fat little handle, and apparently, for Christmas 1952, it could be had (size-depending, I assume) for $3.20-$5.70. The image is terrible, so it's hard to say if the lid looks anything like the one I got with my thrifted treasures.
But what interests me about the whole thing is... I thought I had settled in my mind that the design of these little pots came from the Cousances company, since they predated the ones made by Le Creuset. But Le Creuset bought out Cousances in 1957. The above ad proves the same design was being made by Trianon at least as early as 1952, so they could well have been doing it first, but I can't find much else out there about Trianon enameled cast iron. Anybody out there a connoisseur who can fill me in with the scoop?
In the mean time, check out a couple of great link-ups here: