Sunday, July 22, 2012

New Obsession!

Everywhere I look lately there they are those beautiful French Pots de Confit in a stunning off white color. Sitting on a sideboard or in a cupboard calling to me with their elegantly rounded shapes. Not to be confused with the mustard and green confit pots we typically see, no, both have similar uses but one doesn’t get buried.

Confit which is French and means “to preserve” the mustard and green pots were used for storing cooked meats and then buried in the ground or stored in stone-lined larders. This storage process preserved the cooked meat without refrigeration and could then be enjoyed throughout the winter months. The bottom halves were left unglazed for burying in the ground since the glaze would normally fall off sealed in the ground.

However, the term Confit can also refer to fruit or vegetables which have been seasoned and cooked with honey or sugar until the mixture has reached a jam-like consistency. Savory confits, such as ones made with garlic or fennel, may call for a savory oil, such as virgin olive oil, as the preserving agent.

White confit pots where made in the Albigeois region in the south of France and considered the poor man’s Faience. Faience is an expensive high-end form of tin-glazed ceramics made in France and the majority of people could not afford to buy Faience.  

Confit pots had a type of glaze called terre de fer or a type of ironstone giving it an off white hue because of iron being mixed into the glaze.

Because this type of confit pot was used for serving at the table the older 19th century pieces were typically smaller then nine inches. The ones you find today, ten inches and bigger, were made in the 1940’s  and have applied handles after the body was made.

I have a large collection of ironstone dinner and serving ware and these confit pots would fit in beautifully. Chips and small cracks are to be expected in this type of pottery because it was actually used for serving most days.

These stunning pieces were made in a small quantity and for a short time making them highly collectable today. Even though I’ve pretty much stopped collecting things I’ve been drawn to these pieces for a while. Thankfully my birthday isn’t to far off….hint, hint Mister man!

The ones offered above are from Loi’s shop Tone on Tone antiques. Oh Loi I want that small one in front I can’t resist! So tell me do any of you collect any type of pottery and do you actually use it? I know I probably won’t put one of these gems into use since I know the inside isn’t glazed and even if it was the iron that leaches out probably wouldn’t be a good thing but they’ll look stunning standing in my hutch.

I hope you all have a wonderful and beautiful week. We’ve finally cooled back down to where our temperatures should be in New England but I know many of you are still boiling from heat. Now all we need is rain! Please start doing a rain dance for us in New England.



Woodside Park said...

Hi, Debra -
Thanks SO much for including ours :-) You are awesome! I love those white confit pots, especially the ones with the lids. They are getting very difficult to find....only found one on our last trip. As with most antique pottery, I always nest a liner (plastic vase inside) for flowers, plants etc. Great point you raised. Thank you!!

Phyllis Trevor Higgerson, Henhurst said...

They are beautiful, Debra. And what a great selection of photos you found. I love the mood and styling of the third one.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

debra @ 5th and state said...

great, now i need these confit pots, not just want but NEED! just returning from an antique road trip and am racking my feeble brain....."did i see any of those?"

did not know the history deb and found it fascinating. so now, thank you, i will be hunting for confit pots in cream when in france (why does it always have to be something breakable!). shall i look for you too?


Fashion-isha said...

I love this!! Amazing pieces and inspiration! Have a happy Sunday!

christina @greige said...

That first image is beautiful and so tranquil! I love these but have not been able to find the cream!


The enchanted home said...

I agree, they are stunning, especially in that beautiful creamy white decorative and could be used anywhere. The first image is my dreamy.
Happy lawn mowing today, Debra!

La Brocanteuse said...

Thank you for all this information, I have only just seen them in pictures and was hoping to find some when we were in France now, but never saw any. Hope you get your's !
Hugs&XX Colette

Mary Ann Pickett said...

So pretty and useful. I like to collect pitchers...but you are making me think I need more confit pots (I have one--but it's new).

An Urban Cottage said...

I learned something new today. I'm sure I've seen the Pam Pierce and Cote de Texas photos before but never paid attention to what the white vessels were. They're beautiful but I'm not feeling the pull to immediately start a collection. Thank god!

I'll keep my eyes peeled for you!

Stacey said...

What a fabulous roundup!Great post too! Thanks you for your words of encouragement Debra! It sure helps to have the blog and my virtual friends to distract me:-). XX

michele said...

my head is swimming with all this lovely, and i feel a little tipsy with all the glorious sexy white!!!! i'm serious. the color just stirs me up. i collected ironstone for years and loving looking at it but really don't use it.

thanks for another lesson!


carolyn bradford said...

These are my ultimate collecting love and obsession! Ok…I admitted it! I love them and a lot of times I don't even let them remotely into my shop! Now I need one with a lid!!! There really isn't anything prettier than white confit pots!! I love the yellow and the green as much as anyone, but the white!!!! WOW!!!! Ok….the first pic looks exactly like a console I have at my shop….along with the confit pots! Now I feel an urgency to go on the prowl again for them! Thanks so much for posting this! I needed a boost after Market Day to make me have the energy to shop again!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


I hope that the cooler weather brings you some rain also. We had terrible rain for a few days, now it is blistering hot again. Hopefully we will not reach 100 again. I am so tired of the weather.

I cannot wait to see all of the great things you are canning and preserving. You are so lucky to have such a big garden.

Although I am sure that you do not think so when it is hot and you have to work out in the hot sun.

This collection of confit pots is beautiful. I love all of these images. Each collection is more beautiful than the next.

Loi's shop is filled with so many beautiful things. I do hope to get to DC to see it sometime soon.

I will have to look for a few pots when I am in Paris this winter.

I cannot wait to see your new collection!

By the way, the blueberry coffee cake is delicious and easy. And the brownie cookies are out of this world, you will love them. I cannot wait to hear how you liked them.

Have a great week! I will pray for you to get rain!

Thanks for a great post! And for coming over to comment.


cotedetexas said...

i love these too - i just bought a huge biot. not white but dirty creay color but the white ones are gorgeous too.

my obsession is that sconce in the pam pierce picture.

Sharon Lee Johnson said...

I've also pretty much stopped collecting things, but now you've made me want these too!! Beautiful selection of pictures and interesting to know the story behind these gorgeous pots. x Sharon

Room Seventeen said...

Beautiful pots, lovely photo's!

How is the weather in New England?
This week summer arrived in Holland!

cindy said...

Oh my gosh...thank you for the history lesson. I did not know. They are so lovely and you certainly found a group of equally lovely photos. I am with more collecting! I have american, redware, pewter, and more collecting!!

Splendid Sass said...

We always learn a lesson here. I love these pieces. So pure and beautiful. Doesn't Loi have the most beautiful shop?
I will do a rain dance for you. Wish I could send some of ours to you.
Happy Monday.

Paula said...

Oh they are absolutely gorgeous! Certainly the sort of thing that I would snap up by the dozen if I could - lol! I collect French tureens in antique white or cream. I didn't really realised that I was 'collecting' them until my husband pointed out during a recent 'point of sale' moment that I already own six! It's funny how we are drawn to things over and over again. I keep mine in a painted french armoire and I am ashamed to admit that only two of them are ever used on a regular basis - the rest are there to be admired by me - of course my husband (whom I hadn't realised was counting!) thinks that I am crazy!
Best wishes and fingers crossed that you get your rain,
Paula xxx
p.s. It made me smile that there you are praying for rain, and here in England, we have had our FILL of rain over the past two months and are practically hugging strangers in delight at the sun's return! x

Lana @whatsthestorymorninglory said...

Hi Debra,
Yes the confit pots are beautiful. I really like the white color. I think you should get the one from Ton on Tone for your birthday.

Garden, Home and Party said...

What a great post. I hadn't heard the history of the white cofit pots. I have always loved the mustard ones used in so many great kitchen images. The white ones are new to me and boy are the tempting. Thanks for such a fun read.

Pura Vida said...

ok...I'll obsess with you!

Heather Robinson said...

Yet another beautiful and informative post--not to mention it looks as though you have inspired quite a few ladies to start their own collections! Alas, they are going to have to look hard. Even at the professional shows in Avignon and Montpellier, I never see them. The yellows and greens yes but off-white? Never!
Scratchies to Dylan and bisous to you,

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Love, love these pots. I just started a board on Pinterest for white pottery. i am going to have to pin some of these.

Leslie said...

Hi Debra,

This is a gorgeous post and the pots are stunning. I especially love the whites against some of those antique pieces. I'll be bookmarking this post and I've got the perfect spot for a view of these..

Enjoy the start to your week.


I Dream Of said...

Debra, I'm now obsessed, too. I also collect ironstone and these would be a perfect complement to that collection. Hope a few find their way to your home! Have a lovely week. XO

Barbara@HausDesign said...

Gorgeous! They would make a great collection so I hope you get what you are wishing for. :)

Anonymous said...

OMG! You have written a post after my own obsession! I have been looking for two more of these exact type Confit Pots and I am so pleased with you posting about them. Everywhere I look, I find the regular yellow or green, but I want the white. I found just one that I use for my utensil holder on eBay and will be very happy when I find the other two because I have places ready for them. Thanks for this great post!

Unknown said...

If I was starting a collection tomorrow...these would be my pick! I've never been drawn to the mustard or green ones...just not my colors. But, creamy white. Now we're talking!

I'll have to pop over to Loi's and take a peek. I hope you get one for your birthday!!

We have been alternating between rain and horrid heat. You are welcome to our rain. I'll try to shoo it your direction! :)

xo Elizabeth

The French Tangerine said...

What a beautiful post! I'm obsessed also! I am bookmarking and pinning and saving.. so many great images! Thanks for spending the time to put this together..

Test said...

Great post... They are great for decorating!

Anonymous said...

They are gorgeous aren't they? I'm loving the wall sconce in photo #1 too! xo

Stacy CUrran said...

Isn't Loi's store the MOST amazing thing ever? I love everything I see!

Suzanne said...

Just beautiful!!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...


I hope you are getting a little of the rain the is moving up the coast. We had a terrible storm...many now without power. Hopefully not for long, going to be hot tomorrow.

I know what you mean about being unable to get anything done...I have so many projects int the yard snd waiting in the garage but I am not willing to suffer in the heat.

I hope you have a great week.


Decor de Provence said...

You're definitely a women after my own heart!! I know I know... I'm obsessed too... beyond obsessed!! I think I might have to give Loi a call around Christmas! Thanks my dear for the eye candy!
I hope all is well with you beautiful Debra!


The French Maid said...

That's all I need to convince me!
Love these!
I'm your newest follower!
--Lee Ann

designchic said...

Love treasures that are beautiful and useful. Adore the lidded pots!!

A room with a view said...

If I had the space I would be collecting more. I love pottery from different parts of the world but do not have anything like these pieces. Inspite of their color there is so much character to them - imperfections and all! They certainly do make a statement and are glorious as a collection! Someone is doing the rain dance in NY because we have had some significant downpours recently. Hope you have had some, too, Debra.

Charlotte Des Fleurs said...

Thank you for explaining the difference between the confit pots buried in the ground and those used for "preserves". I always enjoy learning the raison d'etre!

As for your concern that iron would leach out and therefore make using these pots for real food today, that should not be an issue. Iron is good for us. In fact, that is the reason why many people still use iron skillets.

It is ARSENIC, LEAD and MERCURY that are used to color some glazes or may be in the clay itself that should cause health concerns. If one purchases a faux-tique confit (probably made in China), I WOULD be concerned about heavy metal contamination. Any container of uncertain origin or composition should never be used to prepare or store food or beverages.

LB said...

What a wonderfully informative post, Debra. Thanks so much. I am drawn to them too though I don't own a single one...I have had my eye on one at the local antiques store. I figure if it is still there on my third visit, it is surely meant to be mine. xo~L

A Perfect Gray said...

wonderful post. lovely pots - now I'm gonna keep my eyes out for these, donna

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

You have just given me something new to obsess over...thanks! A beautiful and informative post...

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello Debra,

I hope you had a great weekend and were able to get some of your outdoor work done. Still toasting and humid here so nothing done outside, thank goodness we aren't trying to feed a family from our garden.

Have a great week!


Thoughts on Design said...

HI Debra,

Wonderful history lesson! Although not as elegant, I'm drawn to bean pots... Can't even articulate why...

Isn't this weather wonderful???

Canada was unbelievable. Day time temps in the mid 60's. Night time - mid 50's. Perfect sleeping weather...


Acanthus and Acorn said...

I will be on the look out (for you?) god knows I cannot afford to obsess over one one thing! I loved the history lesson, thanks so much for that!

Karena said...

Debra I too have been admiring these wonderful pots for some time! I do believe the one from Loi has your name on it!

Art by Karena

2012 Artists Series

Burlap Luxe said...

Hi Debra, I am a vistor from Colettes, I so love your inspiration photos, my heart is weekend with the beauty within each shot!

I will return this evening so I can study and take a piece of what inspires me most back with me.

thank you for sharing


Yep...sure could use some of those in my house...anything white! Thanks for the's better to obsess about something when you know what they were used for.....

pve design said...

Love love love these.
I want one or a pair.

quintessence said...

Just lovely decorative pieces! They are tempting go anywhere pieces!

Jennifer said...

Such a wonderful, informative post.
I adore the white Confit pots, and need more for my collection!!
Love to have found your blog by way of Google search. Thanks.

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