Early Large Copper Roaster with Cover
People love roasts. It’s not just the luxury of a meal prepared over a l-o-n-g cooking period, it’s the succulence, the tenderness and the aroma of a roast. At least those were the standards that Louis IX sought when he created the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs (The Brotherhood of the Chain of the Roasters) in 1248. The French King was bragging, really. After all, he had access to prodigious amounts of meat – in big pieces suitable for roasting, and, he had plenty of fuel to keep the fires going for hours.  Neither of these excesses were enjoyed by commoners.

Originally the technique of roasting didn’t involve ovens but rather, slowly rotating fireside spits controlled by chain mechanisms. Hence the word “chain” in the Brotherhood’s name. In fact, the food on the spit most probably would be wild caught fowl, game, pig or, the newly imported bird from Turkey, the turkey.

In the Middle Ages, hunting, too, was the leisurely pursuit of noblemen. They were the only ones who could spend hours at a time on a mass expedition into a royal wood. As a result, royalty viewed roast beef with disdain. Where was the sport in pursuing domesticated cattle?
It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that cooked beef became widely accepted in Europe. And, another two hundred years or so before this gorgeous copper oven roaster would have gained popularity.  To this day, the fragrance and elegance of a deep brown roast or a golden turkey on the Holiday buffet cannot be surpassed.

Shown above:

Early Large Copper Roaster with Cover 

Date/Circa:  Ca 1870
Size:  21″ Wide X 7″ High