From 19th century France, this copper poissonnière, or fish poacher, has been beautifully decorated in repoussé with patterned backgrounds. Repoussé is the technique of hammering malleable metal from the back side to create a low relief design.
One side of our poacher has a fleur de lys with two curved leaves underneath. The opposite side has a crowned coat of arms flanked by two curled leaves. The coat of arms depicts a pair of salient lion supporters with shields in their paws. It is rare for a lion to have a salient attitude, as they typically do not have both hind feet on the ground. The shield on the left has a bend sinister surrounded by azure and gules hatching, while the shield on the right has banding that flanks a pale emblazoned with roundels. Sitting above and behind the shields is an open crown with crescent moon shaped decorations along the band.
Each side of the body of the poissonnière has been soldered together with a dovetail seam and held in place with two rivets. There is a rolled edge beneath a forged iron handle that extends the width of the poacher. The handle has a raised section at the middle for hanging in the fireplace. In earlier times, most of the cooking was done in fireplaces, where the cooking vessel would be suspended over the fire via a crémaillère (chimney hook).
This antique copper fish poacher can be used as a small jardinière for dried flowers or simply as a decorative accessory in the kitchen or any other room.
CONDITION: Small dent in the bottom of one corner and fleabites to the rolled edge. Light scuff marks on the underside. Wear commensurate to age and use.