A green-glazed French Confit Pot


A wonderful and tall antique French confit pot. This is a particularly rare and lovely example in terracotta, featuring a luminous green glaze on the outside, a creamy yellow glaze inside and two side handles. In good condition, in keeping with its age.

Circa 1880

Area of Provence

                                                          Pots à graisse or Pots à confit

For centuries, beautifully glazed earthenware vessels were to be found in all French kitchens, especially those in the South of France, where the weather was much warmer. These quintessentially French clay storage vessels, were used, historically to store reserves of meat or poultry over the winter months. Known as ‘confit pots’ (from the French word ‘confire’, which means ‘to preserve’), they were filled with, among other things, duck, which was slow cooked in its own fat – a dish called ‘Confit de Canard’, which is still extremely popular today. Because confit pots needed to stay cool as part of the preservation process, they were covered with gauze or a wooden lid, and either three-quarters buried in the ground in a cellar or stored in a stone lined larder once the duck had been cooked and cooled. This is the reason there is no glaze on the lower part of most pots — it tended to peel when stored in the cool dirt. Storing meat in this way helped to preserve it and make it last all through the winter.

Typically, the top and inside of a confit pot was glazed with a bright colour, ranging from mustard, honey or sunshine yellow, to off white or even bright green. In fact, the colour of the glaze is characteristic of the region in which the pot was made. A few chips and imperfections are to be expected from a lifetime of use and the passage of time, but these should be seen as a fascinating commentary on their utilitarian past lives.

Today, confit pots remain extremely collectible, both for their bright and beautiful colours and for their many uses. Filled with cascading blooms and greenery, they make an impressive centrepiece on the dining room table. Alternatively, placed artfully on shelves or around the garden, these wonderful glazed French pots sprinkle bit of French country charm on to any home.




Additional information

Dimensions 28 × 28 cm

1 in stock