KeepsakeCookware

Vintage European and American Porcelainized Cast Iron

Top shop for gifts.

Buyers bought gifts from this shop and gave them 5-star reviews!

Announcement    Welcome to Keepsake Cookware. The shop is currently closed but will reopen around October 1. Please inquire if you're looking for specific items, as we continue to offer unparalleled "Search and Rescue" service.

Whether it be an heirloom for yourself or a splurge on that first top-quality piece for your favorite college student, Keepsake shoppers can find something for just about every interest level and budget.

Multiple satisfied reviewers will attest: we cut out the hassle searching, bidding, and negotiating — not to mention losing all those auctions at the buzzer! And no more worries about having to return something due to condition problems. Any and all defects will, as previous buyers confirm in our Reviews, be noted and pictured in the CONDITION section of the listing.

So, yes, you may find some of these classics elsewhere on-line, perhaps even for a lower price. But it's very, very unlikely you will find them in better condition for less in a "Buy-It-Now" format.

Put simply, through experience and years of study and enjoyment in our own kitchen, we know what we're doing here. Our focus remains great-value treasures, used every day.

Among our brands is Dru Holland, its 1.5-century-old factory grounds in The Netherlands now a shopping/residential complex and museum. We're also fond of US-made Prizer, long-gone as a company but with finishes equal in durability to any. Equally tough and long-gone is Ontario-made Findlay. We're doing our best to spread the word about the fabulous quality and value of all three of these vintage brands.

Yet, Le Creuset remains premiere. Once more, we say it: the company — under its own name and its affiliated brand Cousances — continues to manufacture cast-iron heirlooms for the future, from recycled metal at its original factory in the north of France. With its long-lasting products, Le C once bucks all modern trends, while honing its reputation as an iconoclast. Le C's 100th anniversary is just around the corner, but its resilience makes it seem way ahead of its time.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Unless otherwise noted, Keepsake Cookware offers free insurance on all domestic shipping.

Announcement

Last updated on Apr 28, 2022

Welcome to Keepsake Cookware. The shop is currently closed but will reopen around October 1. Please inquire if you're looking for specific items, as we continue to offer unparalleled "Search and Rescue" service.

Whether it be an heirloom for yourself or a splurge on that first top-quality piece for your favorite college student, Keepsake shoppers can find something for just about every interest level and budget.

Multiple satisfied reviewers will attest: we cut out the hassle searching, bidding, and negotiating — not to mention losing all those auctions at the buzzer! And no more worries about having to return something due to condition problems. Any and all defects will, as previous buyers confirm in our Reviews, be noted and pictured in the CONDITION section of the listing.

So, yes, you may find some of these classics elsewhere on-line, perhaps even for a lower price. But it's very, very unlikely you will find them in better condition for less in a "Buy-It-Now" format.

Put simply, through experience and years of study and enjoyment in our own kitchen, we know what we're doing here. Our focus remains great-value treasures, used every day.

Among our brands is Dru Holland, its 1.5-century-old factory grounds in The Netherlands now a shopping/residential complex and museum. We're also fond of US-made Prizer, long-gone as a company but with finishes equal in durability to any. Equally tough and long-gone is Ontario-made Findlay. We're doing our best to spread the word about the fabulous quality and value of all three of these vintage brands.

Yet, Le Creuset remains premiere. Once more, we say it: the company — under its own name and its affiliated brand Cousances — continues to manufacture cast-iron heirlooms for the future, from recycled metal at its original factory in the north of France. With its long-lasting products, Le C once bucks all modern trends, while honing its reputation as an iconoclast. Le C's 100th anniversary is just around the corner, but its resilience makes it seem way ahead of its time.

BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Unless otherwise noted, Keepsake Cookware offers free insurance on all domestic shipping.

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Paul

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Paul

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(66)
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About KeepsakeCookware

Sales 168
On Etsy since 2017

Visit Keepsake Cookware at Deep Creek Cellars in Maryland

Please visit the retail store for Keepsake Cookware, located in our winery’s gift shop at Deep Creek Lake, Md. (DeepCreekCellars.com). In addition to fine wines, entirely from local grapes, you'll find one of North America's largest selections of valuable vintage enameled cookware.

We’re just three hours from the DC or Baltimore beltways, near which most visitors to Mountain Maryland live. Six hours from Cleveland and Philadelphia. Seven from New York. Two from Pittsburgh.

Wondering whether that old orange pot your Grandmother gave you still has any life left? Or, did you misplace the lid in ’75 the morning after that crazy concert, and the bottom has been sitting unused in the cupboard since? Next time you’re vacationing near us, bring those kitchen remnants along.

Cash paid for old enameled cast-iron! Please email or call ahead, to arrange appointments at the store for consultation, appraisal, and purchase of your vintage and collectible enamelware: 301.746.4349. Also in stock: many original lids and some bottoms in popular colors. (I am also willing to travel to your location for appraisals. Appraisal by photographs, transmitted electronically, is not recommended but in some cases can work.)

We’re located just 6 minutes off I-68, which millions of Americans use to travel cross-country. So, stop by on your way through. That old pot might pay the way!

And just how did I get here? I came to heirloom and vintage enamelware 25 years ago by buying new pieces of Le Creuset (which I still do today). I cook with them daily for my family, and as frequently as possible for friends.

People often remark about the succulence and tenderness of my preparations. “How’d you do that?”

“Le Creuset” is all I can say.

Obviously, cooking is not all or even mostly about the pots and pans. But slow-cooking in porcelain-coated cast-iron seals in foods’ natural moisture, vitamins and minerals, flavor, and, well, somehow… the panache.

And while Le Creuset has become almost synonymous with great enamelware, making cast-iron vessels for cooking goes back at least four centuries, to Le Creuset’s 1553 predecessor— Cousances, absorbed in 1957 to become the famous brand we know today.

It was Belgians who perfected the hard, sand-based coatings of modern enamelware, but the world knows about Le Creuset because it took France’s amazing culinary history to spread the word. By using the same sorts of cookware that so many French mothers, grandmothers, and chefs use, it’s possible to tap into those traditions — and create your own for your family.

If you want sensual tenderness, cook slower and generally longer, lid-on, in cast-iron.

But, if you also want easy clean-up — without constant “seasoning” of uncoated iron — the hard, porcelain finish of enamelware is the way to go. It’s the original “No-Stick Cookware.”

Yet, because the underlying material is iron, rather than cheaply made aluminum with finishes that flake off over time (exposing you and your family to potentially carcinogenic materials in the chemical finish), the heat is retained better and spreads more evenly.

Good quality stainless steel also has its place — and I occasionally sell it at Keepsake — but it’s more for frying and short-duration cooking.

Now I know Americans like kitchen gadgets, but — spoiler alert — coated iron replaces a crock pot for stewing and soups, plus real heirloom-quality enamelware is far better-suited to basting and roasting and, with just a little care, will last many lifetimes.*

Also, we all know great food didn’t start in Europe. But a key step in classic regional dishes from many cultures is slow-cooking. Roasted poultry in cocoa-laced molé sauce? This great Mexican dish is even more delicious from my #30 Le Creuset braiser! Those great simmer sauces from India and Pakistan? Sorry, mine’s hard to beat, thanks to a prized #24 Le Creuset Wide Round. Jambalaya? No question — much better in my big ole 1952 Cousances Oval.

Whether you visit me personally at our winery shop, or use Etsy’s award-winning customer service portal — with free Keepsake insurance on all domestic shipping and service to many other countries — you’re never too old or inexperienced to start or expand your own collection of cookware worth keeping.

When you come to our shop, you’ll notice the chalkboard sign with a hand-scribbled note: “Make Dinner Tonight.”

Incredibly, many people ask if that’s a reminder to myself.

“No, that’s for you,” is my reply. “Don’t you need a local wine to go with it? Or how about a great vintage pot to cook it in!”

Lastly, try to buy naturally nutritional and environmentally sound organic raw ingredients. Buy from local farmers as often as you can. And, for Americans especially, before it’s too late, slow down, take time — sit around the table more with your family and friends.

Paul
Friendsville, Md.
November 2017

*A fundamental footnote about the trashy, splashy cast-iron pots jamming the Big Box shelves these days. A few years back, when I first started, someone brought in an enameled pot with a dazzling light-to-dark blue gradated finish. The shine was so catchy (and I already knew that Americans love blue cookware), that I bought it, even though it had no maker’s mark and was undoubtedly modern and Chinese. I put it on the shelf, right beside and at one-third the price of the scratched-up, shaggy-looking #24 Cousances that Napoleon himself may have used in an early campaign. Shiny Blue had almost exactly the same capacity. But when I compared it closely to the Cousances, I found: 1) the coated finish on the nearly new Chinese pot was frayed along the edges and surely would not hold up over time, and 2) the metal on the Euro pot was a good sixteenth of an inch thinner, then 3) picking up Shiny Blue by the handles was awkward, because 4) the thing was monstrous — I mean shockingly heavy! It would be like lugging a bowling ball around the kitchen. That provoked me to fetch the scale. Bonaparte’s Cousances: 10 pounds, 2 ounces. Blue: 16 pounds! Imagine the poor quality of the pig iron involved. By comparison, imagine the rigor of innovation and refinement, over decades and even centuries, that went into creating a vessel of such durability that it is also light by comparison to modern competitors! And there you have it: great enamelware, which is still made by Le Creuset, Chasseur and Staub in France today, is also far lighter and, as a result, more enjoyable. You simply can’t have it both ways: if you want something to last forever, buy cast-iron. If you want something to last forever and be immensely, durably fun to cook with, try new or vintage European enamelware.

Shop members

  • Paul

    Owner

    Paul is a professional winemaker and writer with a love of good food and what it takes to grow and make it. To discuss your vintage cookware, call him: 301.746.4349, or email: paulr@deepcreekcellars.com. To buy on Etsy, it's free — just sign up!

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on May 9, 2022
Frequently asked questions
Why Don't You 1) Accept Cancellations, or 2) Allow Returns or Exchanges?

I am happy to answer any and all questions before purchase, or even to hold an item for sale until the customer makes a final decision. But, after an order is received, several steps remain to fulfill it. Additionally, one order may affect decisions about the shop's overall inventory and work-flow.

Therefore, please appreciate my need to accept that an order placed is final.

As a veteran on-line vintage cookware buyer, I also know about the routine risks associated with shipping. The best way to avoid complications is to avoid unnecessary shipments due to Returns or Exchanges, thereby raising the overall satisfaction level for my customers.

Again, the key is for us talk as much as necessary in advance of purchase.