Antique copper kettle cover with ornate hand hammered and punched geometric designs and a thick iron wire rim core (see all Photos). It was made originally for covering a large copper cooking pot (kettle) that had a rim diameter of about 16 inches across because this vessel has a maximum outer diameter of about 17 inches. Needless to say, this copper cover is a true museum piece rarely seen on the market today and dates from the 1730 to 1770 period, hence the c1750 mid-date.
The decorative design on this cover was punched into the cover from the inside and produces a repousse effect on the top or exterior face. The punched design included swirls, spirals, circles, rosettes and arcs all constructed from individually punched dots and dashes added by hand (see all Photos). The decoration also served as a way to strengthen the cover by giving the surface a corrugated effect to help prevent dents and maintain the cover’s original shape. The copper sheet used to make this cover was worked, beaten and planished by hand and then its outer most edge was drawn over a wrought iron rod to form the outer rolled rim. A chisel was used to stretch and pull the outermost edge of the copper sheet as it was wrapped over a wire rim core. Evidence of chisel marks are still evident along the under side of the rim and can be seen in close-up in Photo #6.
The workmanship on this cover is very good indicating that the coppersmith was indeed a professional craftsman. Also, there are several maker’s letter stamps and one touch mark (see Photo #5). All maker’s marks, just like the punched design are hammered into the interior (underside) of the cover. The touch mark is a Royal Crown flanked by several fleur-de-lises all set within an oval ground containing fine parallel lines. The style of this touch mark is 18th century (from the 1700s) and indicates that the cover was made in France or a French Colony. Three other marks consist of letters hammered into the cover and either left singly or in a pair (see Photo #5). The initials PS with a small heart or V in superscript placed between the two letters is the only paired set of letters forming a monogram (the craftman's initials??; see Photo # 5 at top left). Two other letters are stamped into the cover and each is either an imperfect ‘Y’ where the angle of the stamp left the lower trunk or main stem of the Y incomplete, or the two letters are both a V. Consequently, these marks might convey that the coppersmith practices his trade under the PS mark (his initials?), worked in France (or a colony under the French crown) and coded the cover with V to indicate the batch or year it was made. If any viewer can identity the identify crown touch mark or can place a name to the PS stamp, kindly drop me an email - thanks, Doc.
Antique copper dishes and covers this large and old are very scarce to find today given that copper was quickly recycled when the article was no longer valued or actively used. And this cover would have been placed over a large copper cooking pot to keep its contents safe and intact. Examples of much smaller copper covers sometimes also along with their original copper cooking pots have been recovered from Native American sites along the lower Mississippi and its tributaries. These have been recovered from archaeological sites. Some of the covers were also decorated with similar hammered geometric designs and were attributed to trade goods brought to America by French traders in the mid-1700s. French faience, redware, glass trade beads and other trade goods were also recovered along with the copper pots and covers and the most notable site was written up by Jeffrey P. Brain and published in 1979 by Harvard University under the title ‘Tunica Treasure’ (Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, No. 71, Harvard University, Cambridge). Although these covers are a lot smaller, they provide strong provenance for French manufacture and also help confirm the age of the cover listed for sale here. None of the Tunica copper covers and kettles were in good condition since they had been buried in the ground for over 250 years. Other datable artifacts found with the copper covers indicated a possible date range running from the 1720s to 1750s (see Brain 1979, ibid).
As noted above, this hammer decorated antique copper cover is a true museum piece and a rare survivor to escape recycling over the intervening 250+ years. And so if you are looking for a rare antique copper relic to add to your own collection, then do consider acquiring this antique cover while it is still available. And as always, this copper cover also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy for a refund (see full Return Policy details farther below).
SIZE: This cover has a maximum outer diameter of about 17 inches, inner diameter of about 16 inches (will fit a kettle or cooking pot with a rim diameter of about 16 inches). This cover has a maximum height of about 4 inches because it gently rises to form a slight dome. The outer rounded vertical edge or side of the cover is about 2 1/2 inches high and from there the top of the cover is gently convex upward and rises another 1 1/2 inches to the very top. The cover weighs about 3 1/2 lbs and which, of course, includes the iron rim core. And because the cover is large, it displays well in most any setting and can be place in a stand on a mantle, shelf, table, counter or on top of a hutch, china cabinet or bureau and is guaranteed to capture attention and conversation.
CONDITION: This copper cover is in excellent condition with no tears, deep scratches, holes or large dents. The copper has a patina with some darkening from soot and grease from original use that is more evident on the top or exterior side. The interior (inside) of the cover has been polished in the last fifty years and projects a deep copper red luster (see all Photos). The cover has four round holes, each about 3/8 inch diameter that were cut or punched into its outer edge just below the rolled rim (see Photos # 2 and #7). These may have been added decades/centuries after it was produced or may be original for riveting handle attachments (see Jeffrey P. Brain's 'Tunica Treasure' 1979: pg 165, Type B1; for handle attachments that use a single hole). The cover has no repairs and no restorations. Of course, if the buyer is not 100% satisfied, then she/he may return this antique cover for a refund (see our refund policy noted below).
SHIPPING: All US mainland buyers pay $25.30 for well packed and insured USPS Retail Ground (this is an estimated savings of about $2 to $6 since insurance and tracking are also INCLUDED in the above quoted amount for all mainland US addresses). A faster shipping option is also offered (see shipping menu). No handling or packing fees are ever charged. All international buyers will pay only the exact shipping costs for all verifiable locations outside the continental US mainland. We only use the USPS for International shipping to reduce broker fees and some Custom’s charges when an item is over 100 years old. Also, we always encourage the International buyer to select an International shipping option that also provides insurance against loss or damage, and ask the International customer to send us their address for an email quote covering all insured International shipping options to your location. To date, we have shipped items to 28 countries around the globe and have not had any items lost or broken, however this fact does not guarantee that no postal mishandling will ever occur in the future. Also, please note that International import duties, taxes and other charges are not included in the item price or shipping costs and these additional charges are the Buyer's responsibility. We do offer a petition for VAT relief on the behalf of the buyer which may help reduce certain import taxes should your country allow such petitions for items over 100 years old. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to purchasing this item -- thanks.
RETURN POLICY: Satisfaction and peace of mind are guaranteed for all Docs Antiques Ruby Lane listings -- please refer directly to our Service Pledge and our Return Policy for full details. And this means that if the buyer is unhappy with the purchase, then she/he may return it by sending the item back undamaged and post marked within fourteen days of original receipt for a refund (certain shipping costs are non-refundable). Items damaged by shipping in the US are covered by insurance and while this rarely happens because we double pack, we will gladly help you file your insurance claim should it ever be necessary (we have had only one claim for damage in over seven years). Of course, never send an item back that has been damaged by shipping since that will void the original insurance. Instead, contact us for help and we will gladly assist.
PAYMENT OPTIONS: We accept checks on US Banks (no temporary checks, all checks must have 9 digit routing code; item ships after check fully clears), USPS money orders, PayPal, or contact us with your verified address for more options. If you wish to use a credit card by way of PayPal, that option becomes available after you submit a Ruby Lane purchase order (see Terms of Sale for additional information). Once submitted, a PayPal icon will appear at the bottom of this listing and then you may proceed from there if you wish to pay via PayPal. Thanks for looking and do come back and visit again whenever you have the time.
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