Pennsylvania Primitive Cooking Utensil

Handmade Dovetailed Copper

Long Handled Sugar Boiling Pot

Circa 1860


This is an antique copper c.1860's handmade long handled dovetailed sugar boiling pot.  Meant to be used over an open hearth, it has a deep bowl that is quite large holds 5 cups.

It was made in the traditional method of primitive handmade copper utensils.  A single piece of copper was dovetailed together to form the side walls of the pot.  Another piece of copper was beaten to give it a little depth and a somewhat concave shape and then dovetailed to the walls.  The top edge of the pan was rolled over a heavy wire to form a smooth rounded rim.  A blacksmith made long wrought iron handle was attached with three hammered copper rivets down the side of the pot where the dovetailed seam is.  The handle has hand-hammering halfway down the length and ends with a good hanging hook.

Sugar boilers were never tinned on the interior.  The copper being an excellent conductor of heat allowed the cook to bring the sugar to the needed temperature quickly and the pan to cool down quickly. Only unlined copper was used for boiling sugar since it kept the sugar from re-crystallizing.

Of course other foods could have also been heated in this type of long handled pot, but it was certainly not simply a dipper or a ladle, it is far to large for that purpose.  This easily holds more than 1 quart liquid (5 measured cups exactly).

From a local collection of open hearth cooking utensils, this is still in very good condition and has a nice polished surface.  It is clean and usable.  There are a few little dents and dings from use, no repairs, no holes, no splits. 


6-1/4" across the top rim - narrows down to 5" across at the base

3-3/4" high at rim (slightly rounded base)

23" from edge of rim to end of handle

Good heavy weight, weighs  22 ounces

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