Welcome to the first post on our new French Kitchen Antiques blog. We will use this space in the future to give you more in-depth information on the history of antique French kitchenware, some of the stories behind famed manufacturers and of course updates about new antiques that we’ve added to our shop. We start out today with the Parisian firm of J. Jacquotot.
We recently came into the possession of two lovely hand-hammered frying pans, which both bore a stamp that isn’t seen that often these days. It was of the Parisian company of J. Jacquotot. We’d heard of it before, but wanted to know more about its history so we set out to do some research.
J. Jacquotot was a company that specialized in supplying the grand hotels, the restaurants and the kitchens of the great mansions of Paris from the turn of the last century. In the first decades of the 1900s they grew into one of the country’s leading suppliers of culinary equipment. Their original store premises were located at 128-130 Rue de Grenelle, in the fashionable 7th arrondissement, which was the address engraved on the pans we had found. At a later date (we weren’t able to establish exactly when this happened), the company moved further away from the center, to 77 Rue Damesme, at the southern edge of Paris. Perhaps this was a sign of the decline in the fortunes of the company.
It was here that in 1971 Carl G. Sontheimer, president of Cuisinarts, and as such the man responsible for bringing the modern food processor to America, found “what little remained of the company: a small office, a collection of antique copper molds and pans and a very elderly married couple. The husband was the last survivor of the Jacquotot family. He showed me a 13th century copper bedwarmer that had been given to his grandfather by Edward VII of England.”
Sontheimer was inspired by what he’d seen to re-release the 1925 catalogue of the J. Jacquotot company, which carried the entire range of products available for purchase at that time. We managed to procure a copy and it’s great to go through it and look at the enormous variety of items available. From dog-shaped ice cream molds to large ice boxes and even an almost six-feet high machine that could be used for beating 90 – 100 egg whites. Not exactly for the home chef.
And of course there was the copper section as well. On page 8 we discovered the pans we had procured, listed as a sauteuse évasée and a plat à sauter respectively, available in sizes ranging from 16 to 40 centimeters. You can find them at these two links provided, historic reminders of the esteemed company created by J. Jacquotot, supplier to France’s great kitchens and friend of a king.