Patina/dirt: good for something!

I’ve yet to find a copper pan used that didn’t need to be retinned.

Quite true. Therefore the excitement when one turns up.

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I’ve never found a quality used copper pan at all, until now. The one I have is stainless steel interior so no problems there, but certainly I’d imagine that most pans in traditional tinned copper that can be found in a second-hand pile are going to have been seriously mistreated before we see them; the ones that aren’t mistreated are either well-maintained and frequently used, or hoarded.

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What you say, is exactly what happened with me - “Hmmm, I seem to remember that handle - it may mean good things about what it’s attached to - for six dollars I’m taking the chance.”