Collecting French Country Culinary Antiques


Most of us have warm memories of cooking and baking, the kitchen is often our very favorite room in the house.  Do you ever smell a pie baking, or a chicken roasting, and are right back in your Mom’s kitchen?  The kitchen really speaks to our hearts in so many ways; usually cozy, and warm, and filled with delicious smells.
French Country Cuisine

Because of a renewed interest in cooking and entertaining at home, culinary antiques are becoming some of the most sought-after antiques collectors are searching for right now. They are some of the most popular antiques flying off the shelves at FrenchGardenHouse Antiques, and it’s easy to see why!

Not only will they still be useful, they are so decorative, that even if they never serve another meal, they just look gorgeous displayed in any room.

French Country culinary antiques appeal to younger collectors in particular, who love how the 19th century cooking antiques compliment their farmhouse style kitchens.


Growing in popularity, the esteem for French cuisine has spurred on a new generation of avid collectors of French Country culinary antiques.

These simple country antiques connect us to a time when we all allowed for leisurely food preparation, and dining was an event.  Many collectors fill their homes with French Country kitchen antiques to remind them to sit and enjoy lovingly prepared meals with their family and friends, and treasuring their company.

If you love French Country antiques for the memories they stir, or for how useful they still are, or simply for how they look, here are some tips for starting a collection of French kitchen {or culinary} antiques.  This post will also be a part of the April Romantic Homes Magazine French Issue, on sale 3-07-17.



There are French Country culinary antiques for the casual collector and the serious connoisseur. Whether they come from the “below stairs” kitchen of an elegant chateau or a quaint country village bistro, culinary antiques are the perfect complement to your grand pursuits of dining, cooking and entertaining.


There are many different types of French Country kitchen antiques, and collectors generally fall into three categories:

1. Collectors who collect only one thing, striving to find better and better, or more rare pieces.


2. Collectors who collect a series of objects, such as everything made of copper.


3. Collectors who collect a little bit of everything, either to re-create a country kitchen from the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, or to decorate their home with the pottery, enamelware and other kitchen items from France.

French Country Cuisine


Basically, what you collect will depend on what you can’t resist!


There is a such a wide range of French Country antiques: enamelware, pottery, dishes, baskets, copper pans and pots, all of them glorious in their own right.



As these were useful antiques, and collected for sentimental or decorative reasons, country culinary antiques don’t have to be pristine. Nothing evokes the Provençal countryside more than things that have lost some of their paint and polish. A little chip here and there, a crack, these show that country kitchen antiques have been used, you can virtually taste the heritage of these older pieces. Many collectors actually prefer pieces with well-worn patina and wear.

FrenchCountryAntiquesKitchenFrenchGardenHouse.comFrench Country Cuisine



Using French Country antiques in your home and kitchen creates a link from today to a culture when every item was created with care, by artisans who cared about each detail. Eye-catching, culinary antiques connect the dots of that past to the present.


French pottery from the Provence, and Alsace region makes every kitchen speak French, fluently. You can use these old treasures to brighten up your kitchen, but they look just as stunning displayed as a piece of art amid a collection of antique books {cooking or not} or holding a handful of flowers or herbs from your garden as a centerpiece.



A collection of antique kitchen or tableware is meant to be enjoyed, used and shared. They are precious, but were made to be hardworking and sturdy. They are not relics of the past, please don’t be afraid to use them!



Collecting kitchen antiques is based partially on knowledge, but mostly on love. These are antiques that represent a time and lifestyle in the past that we long for. One that embraces time spent in warm kitchens, creating special foods to feed those we love, and taking the time to enjoy meals with treasured family and friends.




What one thing do you remember from your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen that you love?

52 thoughts on “Collecting French Country Culinary Antiques”

  1. noreen

    I love collecting vintage French kitchenalia, as it is more affordable! My favourite item from my maternal grandmother is a fat enamel ginger jar with lid that was filled with bonbons which their grocer presented to her mother on her birth. From my paternal grandmother, I have a heavy metal little iron that was heated on the coal stove to iron the family linens. I enjoyedthis trip down memory lane, have a super day!

  2. You are really helping me develop an eye for French antiques. I see these pieces here in France, and mostly my husband turns up his nose and makes some comment about how it looks like something his grandmother used before the war (not that he was born then). But that’s exactly the point! I love having utensils that I actually use that were made by hand out of “true” materials like copper or clay vs. plastic. Built to last. And usually beautiful, too.

  3. Marsha Melonakos

    Love the culinary antiques. Would love a kitchen full of them! Thank you for this informative blog post!

  4. Carole Shiles

    I have a flour sifter that belonged to my mom. It isn’t french but I treasure it as if it were a rare french antique.

  5. I do love the old cutting boards. I’ve been on one or two home tours where they had collections of them on the wall. They are beautiful!

  6. Collecting is a sort of benign disease – and one that I love. Would that I could find more antiques and collectibles in Italia. They do not seem to be as readily available here or perhaps I have not found the right spot in Umbria as yet. Still looking….

  7. Genevieve Miller

    When I was a child we spent summers at our grandmothers home. She had 1 spoon that had
    a beautiful bone handle. We would run to get to the kitchen first in the morning so we could eat our breakfast with that spoon!

    1. Genevieve, I love that memory! Isn’t it so funny how little things like a special spoon not only make us feel special, but create such heart warming memories, too? Thank you for sharing that.

  8. Lidy, I love antiques, and I especially love French antiques. Your posts are always so informative. I am going on a trip next week and will be able to do some antique shopping. I am going to remember your great tips. Thanks for sharing! I hope that you have a beautiful day and a wonderful weekend!!!

  9. Gloria

    I am hooked on hand crafted wooden spoons. But my favorite is my brothers. He was a great caterer. My hand always seems to pull it out of the antique copper wine bucket I keep all my spoons for quick access. I know he is looking down and leading me another great meal.

  10. I treasure using my grandmother’s old farm table. Oh if it could only talk. And I must add
    here wooden potato masher. Most who visit don’t have any idea what it is.

    1. Mary, how special that you have your grandmother’s farm table! And a wooden potato masher, aren’t these old utensils so wonderful!?


    A rectangular blue and white platter that was in the larder in Edinburgh, Scotland.

  12. When I was growing up, my mom’s mother lived 3 doors down from us. Every Sunday morning she would make the most delicious crepes with her cast iron crepe pan. My sister, brother and myself would walk down and enjoy a wonderful breakfast with her and my cousin Ronnie who lived with her.

    Lidy, I love your posts which are so informative and inspiring.

    1. Thank you Donna! What a special memory, and how fortunate you all were to have your grandmother so close by. And CREPES!!

  13. Lidy, I am learning from you! And that just makes me smile and makes me appreciate the power of the Internet and blogging. So here I am in France learning from you in the States, isn’t that perfect! I have still never seen an onion chopping board for sale here but I am on the lookout, it is on my wish list when Brocante season starts again just a few weeks from now and vintage chopping boards, along with all the usual things like ironstone etc!

    1. Susan, it’s the wonder of the blog world and internet, isn’t it? I cherish the friendships we forge around the world….xo Lidy

  14. alison ashton

    Grandma made tomato gravy for rice for lunch every day. She started early, to brown roux, and cooked the rice so it would be completely dry by the time Grandpa was in for lunch after morning chores.

  15. I so totally agree, it is incredible, and the absolute best thing about blogging because we ‘meet’ so many fabulous, kind spirited people, we learn a vast amount too, but it is the new friendships that I value the most. Xx

  16. Maritza

    I’m totally loving your French pottery……so beautiful….
    When I was a little girl I just loved helping my grandma in the kitchen, if I close my eyes tight I’m right back in her kitchen helping her strip the peas from the pods….:-)


  17. Cooking is one of my hobbies. The French pottery will be great to have in my kitchen. Thank you for the inspiration.

  18. Sigh….my stomach is in a knot….I LOVE the photos. Thanks you!


  19. The tureens have stolen my heart! They speak the history of long meals centered around something warm and bubbly and some good bread. True comfort food! I’m decorating with a little more pottery these days so I just love your collection.

    Your photography in this post is awesome!

    Jane x

  20. Ginger Valdes

    Lidy, I love EVERYTHING! Especially the vintage breadboards, but above all I want to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    X0, Ginger

  21. Julie Watson

    These amazing French Culinary antiques truly make my heart beat a little faster. I am always in awe that these useful yet beautiful items have stood the test of time, weathered much service, and are still ready to serve–either in their original purpose, or some creative new one. That they have outlived their original owner (maybe several owners) makes me respect them dearly for the history they hold.
    Years ago I purchased a beautiful copper oblong vessel with sturdy handles which I love to use for displaying plants or flowers. Now I know it is a poissoniere. Now there’s a fish story. 😉 Hope you did something fun on your Birthday! Blessings to you.

  22. Sharon

    My grandmother used to keep a old vintage green bottle of cold water in her refrigerator. No water ever tasted that good as the water from that bottle!

  23. What a beautiful post. The photo of the olive bowls really tugs at my heart, as I am an olive lover… any of them, anytime… breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack! I love the onion boards, too. As always, your images transport me to a calm and beautiful place! And this time, with great food. 😉

  24. Carole Juth

    My most favorite item is a large bread board from my mother that I use to knead bread on. This item came from her mother. This board is over 100 years old and is in wonderful condition.

  25. I love all your pictures, especially the ones of your cutting boards.

  26. mary arredondo

    Ahhhh, my mother making flour tortillas in the early mornings. She would put butter on the hot tortilla and give to us while still in bed.

  27. Deborah Kelley

    I remember Grandmother’s aprons. She always wore one and then she made several for my three sisters and me. I still have mine which have been washed so many times, the cotton is faded and so soft.

  28. diane trahan

    I remember the large earthenware casserole dishes and bubbling macaroni and cheese.

  29. Sue M.

    Love your French style…
    I immediately recall my Mom’s flour sifter resting in a bowl, a half apron, and her cookbook sitting on the counter. I have and love a one of a kind nut cracker that we used when we just couldn’t open those hard to open walnuts. I remember sitting at the kitchen table for hours helping her crack a huge bag of walnuts that were used for all our Christmas baking…a nice memory!

  30. Mary Fetter

    Growing up in Louisiana, I remember coffee being made in the black speckled enamel drip coffee pot…..slowly pouring the boiling water into the filter, smelling the early morning aroma of coffee. I still have the original pot from my home and within the last few years have discovered and started collecting the beautiful handpainted French enamelware coffee pots. Lovely to look at!

  31. Jane Elspeth

    What a gorgeous post,it brings back memories..and thank you for the giveaway(s)! My best kitchen memories are my mother’s Ovenex roasting pan, her vintage enamelware flour bin, and my grandmother’s patterned (shell and leaf) cakes bun tins (for jam tarts). Now obsessed with anything from UK (and French) bakeware.

  32. Cathryn

    My grandmother had amazing crocks and crockery bowls! I have added in small bowls from Provence. They’re that fabulous dark mustard color. I’ve also come to love the French pate bowls. They’re oh so small, but with the lions heads on each side, they add to the decadence of enjoying pate…

  33. I never thought to collect antique cookware. What a good idea. For some reason it makes the food look better. Regular blueberries look special in the antique container.

  34. Bonnie

    I have to say I really love the look of the old bread boards, bowls, crockery, and how it makes you feel. When I see a collection, or a bit here and there, it tends to give a home a very warm feeling, that’s what I love.

  35. Such a stunning post Lidy! My goodness, the copper items are stunning, and the patina of the woods are irresistible. You made me think about collecting cookware. I think food (and photos!) look so much nicer with antique items.

  36. Denise

    I love your blog and your style,always learning new things. Don’t know much about cooking antiques. But sure enjoyed the post. Please enter me into the drawing.
    Thanks, Denise

  37. Cheri dittler

    I have always loved kitchen antiques. My favorite kitchen antique memory is from watching my mother beat batter in a big crockery bowl, counting each turn of the spoon. I had to wait ’til she finished hand beating the batter until I could talk to her. The sound of that spoon hitting the side of that big bowl with the top edge to hold onto stays with me to this day. No wonder I have many large heavy crockery bowls, all with the thick edge around the top. I love your many beautiful French favorite are by far the French boulangerie cutting boards.

  38. Judy Davis

    I have never been to this site before and I love it. I now have a lot of ideas for my country kitchen.

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