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Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Posted by marcolo (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 14, 12 at 14:36

Does anybody here have firsthand experience owning or using one of these machines? I am redoing my kitchen to recall its 1920s heritage, so the look I am after isn't a French range or Victorian coal stove. I find the Elmira products too cartoonish, expensive and poorly reviewed, so they're out.

As far as function goes, I dislike closed burners but could be willing to compromise, maybe. I do need a good simmer. I would prefer several ovens to one gigantic oven but perhaps can meet that need with an Advantium. Grills and griddles are not important to me. Looking at, most likely, a 30" or 36", possibly a larger, odd size if the range requires. There are only two people in this household but we entertain from 4 to 6 people, sometimes with 7 course dinners.

Bluestar. I know plenty about this range, but has anyone seen it with brass fittings? Does it look ridiculous or interesting?

Aga Legacy. Looks cute, marthavila loves hers. However, the burners seem a bit underpowered and the ovens are small. There are also strongly conflicting reviews about evenness of oven temperatures.

Ilve. Italian design, coupled with Italian engineering. Reviews are confusing. Everyone loves the look; many people praise the cooking ability; and many, many others seem to hate the thing.

Fratelli Onofri. Good price point, small oven, underpowered burners? Some company stability issues, too, it seems.

Heartland Legend. I don't even know if this is being produced any more, as it's not featured on the website. However, retailers are still selling them. In person, they look to be built like a tank but offer the same old closed burners for not cheap. I never see reviews.

Cornufe 90. In color this machine kinda sort of evokes a '20s range. I haven't read a word about performance.

If anybody has ever cooked on one of these, I'd love to hear it.


Follow-Up Postings:

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About the Aga

Hey, Marcolo. How thrilling to hear you're considering a "vintage look" modern range! On that score,I can help a bit with the Aga, but not so much with the Aga Legacy. That's because I don't own one. Mine is an Aga 6-4. Totally different Aga animal! :-) Although both Agas are great machines, the wok/simmer burner on the 6-4 can go to 20k BTUs. On the Legacy, it's 15K. The Legacy has a programmable 7 multifunction oven; the 6-4 has 4 separate ovens: convection, conventional, broiler (ceramic) and simmer. I honestly think that, if you're mainly cooking for only 2 people most of the time, with occasional big dinners, you'll be more than fine with Aga's small ovens. As a single, empty nester, for example, I rarely need a full-size oven for most meals I prepare. And, when I'm doing a whole lot of cooking, say for big holiday dinners, those 6 burners and 4 ovens tend are fantastic for my purposes.

If it's of any help at all, I'm linking the old "What is an Aga?" thread which explains all the differences in the Aga line, including the fairly new Aga Pro. And, btw, now is the time to finally make an important correction to one of the posts in that very long thread. Should you dare to slog through it, you'll see where I complain about the location of the 20K burner on the Aga 6-4, stating that it's located in the center rear. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The "ultra-rapid" burner on the 6-4 is the left front burner on the range.

Here is a link that might be useful: What is an Aga?


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo,

I second the Aga reco.. My girlfriend had one and I have cooked a lot on it. I did not find the burners under powered.. In fact, we did smoky chilli tofu once and got some nice wok sear happening. I also liked the flame pattern.. The simmer was great. I actually like the small oven /big oven thing. I feel I was more apt to use the small oven for small bakes, finishing off what you start on cooktops etc. it is nice to not have to wait for the big cavity to warm up. Do spring for the glass door if you go the Aga route. I think of the ones you have listed, this is built like a tank is primarily a cook's stove. The looks are just a bonus.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Lalitha: Glass door - you mean on the Legacy then? I believe Aga 6-4 that Marthavila has has all cast iron oven doors, solid, no option. I like the look of ranges with solid doors - I think that is a much more vintage look.

OP: I think 1920s demands a plain Jane look...Aga 6-4 or Legacy would look perfect, IMHO. Cornufe is a gussied up version of the Aga Legacy, though the cooktop might have a stainless rather than black top and perhaps different burner configurations, I forget. Looks wise I would rather have a Lacanche than that. However, the Legacy and the Cornufe are essentially the same range made in the UK at the same factory, with cosmetic and perhaps cooktop differences. Again my opinion is that the the Legacy is far more 20's looking than the CornuFe.

Heartland website says the Legend is discontinued. And, yes, I recall from my range search it was very pricey. Funnily enough I went through every option you listed when I was doing my 1920s kitchen a few years back and agonized endlessly. In the end budget and common sense ruled and I ended up with Bluestar and love it. For me it is the perfect combination of looks and function.

Good luck!


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

What did you like about the flame pattern?

Here's a review I found about the Aga Legacy at AJ Madison:

"I have owned the AGA Legacy for three years. It is typically British in mechanical reliability: NOT. The entire range had a circuit meltdown within a year, and a new circuit board had to be ordered, which took TWO MONTHS to arrive from Britain (they obviously are unaware of FedEx or UPS, or just don't stock parts). Now, two of the six burners do not function. I will never buy this brand again."

I found more than one service complaint about Aga online.

The Bluestar is the practical choice, but I'm not fond of gas ovens (have one now) and I don't want to give myself a Brazilian every time I cook with the oven on.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

marcolo: The gas oven on the Bluestar was why it took me so long to come around to that option: I was convinced I had to have a range with an electric oven(s). Once I reached reality check stage I realized the Bluestar met all the requirements looks, budget and function wise, albeit with worries about the gas oven. Turns out I love the Bluestar oven....and the added bonus is the broiler. But if you MUST have an electric oven then it will not work of course.

BTW, what is a "Brazilian"?


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Sounds like the stove's electrical was done by Lucas Electric, Marcolo, Lucas Electric is the reason The Brits, like warm beer----cause Lucas Electric makes their fridges!

Gary


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo - Brazilian - LOL! I needed a laugh this morning.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Well, I've had my fill of complaints with Aga service! At first, US accounts were being serviced by Aga's North American operations in Canada. The team there was horrible. However, in the past year, they have relocated NA tech support over the river to Michigan. Since I haven't had any performance issues with my range since their move, I have no idea of whether their tech support operations have improved or not. I hope so. FWIW, you may want to note the dates of those online complaints and see whether most are grouped prior to 2011. I


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Just so people know what we're talking about, here are some 1920s ranges (not interested in an original or exact reproduction):

Cornufe 90 (American version--different model from the European one, which is more like an Aga Legacy.

Various Aga Legacy models:



Fratelli Onofri

Ilve (NOT this size!)

I cannot find any image online of the BS in cream and/or with the brass trim kit.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I cannot find any image online of the BS in cream and/or with the brass trim kit.

You can make your own with this:

Build your Bluestar

Cream color and brass trim are available options. Play with whatever colors you like.

-Stooxie


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I like the Fratelli and Ilve....IMHO, the Bluestar doesn't look so great with the brass trim (from the build your own tool).


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I don't know if I am really qualified to give you design advice ;-)

I don't have any personal experience, but I agree with Michelle - the industrial handle of the BS doesn't look right in brass.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I do not know about the service but I will ask my friend. What I remember liking about the flame pattern was the big wok ring in the middle. The small burners simmered beautifully and the flame cupped small saucepans well. I hate oversized burners that end up heating the handles on small sauce pans. I could clarify butter in a small pot and warm milk for a single mug of hot chocolate. I also remember the oven being really flexible.. I think I could choose top only or bottom only heat, there was a fan to even out the temperature and I could do a quick broil for some top browning on crust.

Vintage ranges pop up on craigslist now and then and I always pause and look. I have an older home and I wanted the kitchen to feel at home in the house.

In my case I decided instead to spring for the induction cook top with a single wok unit and instead get the look with traditional looking hood, cabinets etc. This worked for me but my heart still speeds up at the sight of a vintage stove.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Thanks, lalitha.

I can't tell if the BS in brass might look interesting or cheesy just from the tool alone.

Someone buys these ranges. I wonder where they post their reviews? Certainly not here--even when their owners post here, they never come back to give full reviews. AJ Madison has only a smattering.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Of that group, my heart belongs to Albertine. And I like the continuous grates on top.

FWIW the Fes are the current alternative to Wolf dual fuels in the very high end in my area. Have seen several installed IRL but haven't used one. Only one I recall on forum was in yesdear's SoCal Mediterranean kitchen. Black, in a niche -- perhaps you can email her (if you haven't already). When I was researching my range 3 years ago older posters who weren't around were very gracious about contacting me back with frank evals.

Believe ideagirl has a Fratelli.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

What about the Lacanche ranges? I don't have personal experience with them though--I just think they're stunning. I remember for a while they were very popular on the Kitchens Forum and there were lots of posts from people who had them and loved them. There are several choices in color and hardware finish. One of my favorite GW vintage-y kitchens is Orchidluvr's with a beautiful Lacanche. I'll link it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Orchidluvr's Kitchen with Lacanche Range


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

CornuFe 90 is $6800.
17.5K central burner
3 12K burners
1 6K simmer burner
Oven is 28.1"W x 15.3"D x 15"H
2 convection fans, 3 heating elements

My question is--What is this range? A Rangemaster? A Falcon? I know it's obviously not a La Cornue.

The Lacanche Cluny starts at $7800. Two ovens, but small. No convection. Can be configured gas/electric.
Range Top Configuration
1. Two 11,000 BTU Burners
2. One 18,000 BTU Burner
3. One 5,000 BTU Burner
4. One 15,000 BTU Burner
Overall dimensions: 39 3/8" W x 36" H

Not sure what size I can fit--or even what my final budget is yet, since this is part of a total kitchen re-do. But I do want to eliminate anything with bad reliability or quirks I can't live with.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo, are you open to vintage? I have loved this range from afar for several years and it seems to be still available, and for under $4K.

range


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I have the innate mechanical ability of Paris Hilton, so I don't think I'd dare venture into a true vintage range, at least not one from the '20s. I think the BTUs are really low.

That one you posted does allow you to cook while putting on your makeup, however.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

La Cornue French site is outdated but they claim the Fe. The 90 has different oven configs. Link below.

Here's the mother ship with the list of Aga owned brands and the corporate relationships. Amusing that Heartland also is owned by Aga.

My understanding is that the Aga Pro+ is the American version of the Rangemaster but I could be mistaken. From the value standpoint (there are some issues) that is the best dual fuel price by far. It has a big oven that can be divided. I've seen an extensive demo on it that included chocolate melting. Noticed 2-3 owners on this forum with a recent thread.

Guadalupe, antss or Trevor will likely know those details.

Williams Sonoma hosts La Cornue "cooking classes" and sells the Fes -- some brain picking there might be helpful. At least the customer service folk should be equipped to answer some questions.

Cake this is not.

Here is a link that might be useful: La Cornue France/Eng


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Cornufe, Rangemaster, Falcon (UK), Aga Legacy, Aga Pro.....all the same beast underneath made in the same factory. Just different sizes, configurations, skins, cooktops etc. Heartland still is showing the Toledo & Paragon on their website which are also Rangemaster incarnations. IIRC Aga has been sucking up all the range companies: Rangemaster, La Cornue and lately I hear Mercury (UK) too. I don't know if Falcon was originally a separate company or not. Personally I think the Cornufe is ridiculously overpriced unless you love that gussied up look. When I considered it briefly there was also some huge mandatory shipping fee too. The Aga Legacy is closest to the basic Rangemaster in the UK and in turn that is practically the same, if not the same, as what is sold as a Falcon in France. That much I know. I do love the LOOK of the UK Falcons - that is the ultimate 1920s look for me, but sadly not available over here, probably too "plain" for US tastes. I agree with Rococogurl that the Aga Pro is worth a good long look. It was not available when I was in the market but I might have been tempted if it had been. Note though that from my investigations when you divide the oven the smaller half is just a warming oven, but check me on that. Not a bad thing but I believe it does not give you two ovens like you get on the Legacy etc.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Falcon 900S appears to be the chassis behind the Albertine.

However, unlike the Albertine, the Falcon features the same kind of dividable oven as the Aga Pro. I'm not that interested in the Aga Pro--if I go pro-look, I'll probably put color on a BS or something.

The price on the Albertine isn't that out of line, although the shipping charge is absurd. Apparently other venders beside WS carry it and some charge a bit less than an arm and a leg.


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asdf

I'll try one more time.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Cannot see your pics, but yes, I recall that the Cornufe was very similar to the Falcon (UK, not France). Different look of course. I think both are a better finished version of the Rangemaster/Legacy series.


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poiw

Yikes. Found some Falcon reviews from the UK.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo, a lot of vintage ranges have been restored with modern guts. You don't have to do the mechanical stuff, just pay for it. :) The burners on the Detroit do look small, however. It's just so beautiful! And cast iron. I wish I had a vacation home, just so I could put this in it. :)

BTW, I think your photo site settings are on no-show.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I have an Ilve, which I got on a good Ebay deal. I've had no complaints. It works, and it's a beautiful object.
Quirks: the high powered burner is big. It requires big pots and pans to be useful. But then, I use big pots and pans. If, say, I'm starting stock on it, I'll more often than not move the pot to a smaller burner for a long simmer. I set a simmer burner down from where the installer set it. The oven takes a while to preheat. That doesn't matter a ton for some uses (if I'm running it on convection) but I have to think about it otherwise.
Going on 3 years now, I've had no issues with it.
It's going to get unhooked today for the kitchen reno. On to an induction hob and small convection oven.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Thanks, chesters_house; just the kind of thing I'm looking for. The size of the power burner could be an issue on all the closed burner ranges.

plllog, those aren't my photos I'm linking to; they're on the manufacturer's web site. No idea why that is happening.

With a restored vintage stove, you still get the original guts but with modern safety shutoffs to pass code. So, pilots and matches. Plus BTUs are pretty low. I've heard that some OKM's from the 50s got up to 15K BTUs, and since they're open burner, they'd be extra efficient. However, it's pretty impossible to go vintage stove shopping using BTU search criteria.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Ah, a real Ilve owner appears. Excellent.

Yes, buffalotina, when the Pro+ oven is divided, the second side is a warmer. Not truly two ovens but also not heating the full monster.

I merely suggested due to dual fuel and price. When introduced it was under $5K.

Shipping prices have gotten ridiculous but so have repairs. I've been there with not being able to find someone to fix an appliance -- there was a thread just yesterday from a BS owner. As we say here fuggedaboutit.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

When I bought the Ilve I was considering the same group of ranges that you're looking at. Damn, didn't an OKM appear on Craigslist right after I pulled the trigger on the Ilve -- one reconditioned and set for propane. For $1K. In hauling distance. Sigh.
I remember finding an online discussion about souping up OKM burners. I don't have the link handy on my laptop. If you went that way, you might use it and judge performance, and get it tweeked if necessary.
In searching for an OKM I found that on the east coast at least sellers of reconditioned stoves who expect to get their money back soon come back to reality. They go for more than unreconditioned stoves, but they aren't nearly as expensive as the models for sale by the outlets that retail them. They get discounted by the same metric as used appliances.


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Oh, and

A couple of other Ilve quirks: the burners light in the same way that Berta burners do (hold the knob in for a couple of seconds). And the symbols indicating the oven functions are not immediately intuitive. As if Italians were drawing up directions for Ikea.
That's a plus for me. It frustrates a bossy frequent houseguest. Keeps her away from the stove.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I gather the fan is also quite loud, like the Berta. The two aspects of the Ilve that worry me most are the large closed burner and the scary reports from Australia. I wonder if the Australians are getting a different model or something, given the difference in reviews.

PM tells me that the Albertine is built on a Rangemaster chassis but has unique features specified by La Cornue.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Thing about Italian ranges, as I found out from my Berta and from living there off and on, is the expectations in the oven department are a bit different than ours. They aren't baking bread and sweets in the same way we do and I had to be forgiving about the gas oven's accuracy. Didn't get twisted about it being off 25 degrees since that can be adjusted. The lights were great and once the oven temp was reached it didn't budge. But I didn't expect $7500 performance.

On top, I loved the continuous grates as there was no sinkhole in the center of the range and pots could be slid across. I didn't mind the electric ignition for the burners though some do. Guess it depends on whether the top or the oven is more important in terms of cooking style.

chesters, is your Ilve dual fuel?


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I just realized the CC also comes in colors, though not as many as the BS. I'd have to see whether the simmer issue gets resolved. But in either case, I'd be stuck with a gas oven, which is not what I want. I bake for holidays and special occasions, rather than every day, so I need an oven I can rely on without too much of a learning curve, and I don't enjoy a ball of jet engine fuel exploding when I turn on the broiler (viz., the BS owners on another thread who report cowering in another room waiting for their broiler to finish blowing up).

Also, I am so sick of appliance design being stuck in this pseudo-commercial look that has no appeal to me at all. I worked in a family restaurant kitchen all through my childhood and have no desire to remind myself of that experience.

Why does it cost $7500 to get an oven that holds a temperature? Isn't this technology 100 years old at this point?


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Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Yes, it's duel fuel. Solid on holding temps.

And the fan runs when the oven is on. At least in my space it isn't much beyond white noise (and reminds me that I haven't turned it off.) But it might be a problem with open plans. And since with some dishes I cook by sound (is the food in the skillet ready for liquid?) as well as sight and smell, I need to pay closer attention.
I read the Australian reviews before I bought. I haven't looked in awhile, but many of them were a little old even when I was checking.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

vedazu imported her Lacanche direct from England and saved a lot, but had someone to do the conversion.

Like so much these days, a chunk of the middle has fallen out. So you have low or high with little in between. Dual fuel ranges are top of the line to begin. Aga launched their Pro+ to undercut the dual fuel niche but it hasn't become an "it" range. Like other luxury goods, the more some pay the better they like it.

Have never seen any nuanced comparison based on actually cooking tests on any of the imported ranges or assessment of Euro convection vs. the American (Wolf) performance. It's always about pizza. Marketing is all geared to top and high btu "pro" output.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

For vintage OKM, my neck of the woods has several listed on craigslist. Including some restored and ready to ship

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/app/2901931420.html


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

There's a bell curve for everything. Performance vs. looks. DIY vs. White Glove. The trick is knowing where you are on each of the curves and which is more important to you.

If you are not at all someone to tinker or DIY adjust your range, and need white glove service for everything,which is where your posts make me think you are, then that will limit your choices to more standard models over the exotic imports with months of waiting for parts.

Then there is the applying fire to food bit. Just how involved and serious are you with that? From past posts, I'd have to judge that you are pretty serious about it without being too much of a stuffy prig. :) To me, that would let out most of the fancy imported ranges as well, simply because most lack the BTU's for performance. (I have a friend with a lake cabin and a CornueFe that I was seriously underimpressed with.)

But, you also come across as someone who is really concerned about the aesthetics of the choice. You'd have to be, or you would never throw some of the ranges under consideration into the mix at all. That makes it harder for sure. Would the introduction of a color onto a "standard" American fire breather work for you aesthetically? I have to think that it would as long as the rest of the elements in the kitchen shouldered the bigger share of design "authenticity". For instance, a cream range with cream cabinets would just blend in and look at home no matter what "style" it was, whereas a cream range with cherry cabinets would be a focal point.

This is a long winded way of saying that I do think that a Bluestar with your color of choice on it would probably be your best compromise in your kitchen---as long as you could give good attention to the enhanced ventilation that it would need.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

marcolo: Please note that to be fair I said in the other thread that my Bluestar broiler got completely fixed and is now wonderful to use. Also note I said that the V1, which is what you would get, has the ignitor closer and there should be no adjustment/lighting issue. Even before it had to be isolated cases as I never read too many others complaining of it. Anyway, to make it clear, Bluestar broiler ignition is now a NON issue.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I understand, buffalotina. There seems to be a significant difference between BS today and BS a few years ago. But gas ovens still creep me out. My other issue with BS in particular is that Trevor no longer carries them, and I've never heard of their other distributors in the Boston area. That would leave me with the still-hot and rather blubbery-looking CC.

lwo, you're spot on. The issue is, I've started meeting with architects and they understandably want a brain dump of everything I'm considering, just pared down to eliminate time-wasting non-contenders. I doubt my cooking needs, plan, space and budget will accommodate all vintage-look elements. But at this point, I don't know which category I'll have to compromise on. Modern range? Modern sink? Modern wall oven (if I need one)? I want my short list to include choices at different price points and levels of vintage-ness for each category.

Just don't tell me anything bad about Liebherr fridges, because if my plan requires an integrated CD one, that was the setup we instantly liked best, even over SZ. One item off the list.

What was so bad about the CornuFe? The Albertine has one reasonably hot burner (I do not wok--when I tried to teach myself Chinese cooking we each gained 20 pounds). The size of the closed burners bugs me, since the big ones make you feel like you're cooking on flaming hubcap.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Okay, if you want blast burners, no authentic vintage. :) I had thought from your initial description that it might work for your cooking.

But gas ovens still creep me out. You know how to cook. You'll be able to adapt to a decent gas oven without any trouble--to your cooking, that is. The only thing that's going to cure your creeped outness is you. Otherwise, you need a dual fuel range if you're having a range. Do they make any with open burners, though? If not, you're going to have to make a choice.

I hadn't commented on the CornuFe before because I don't remember the particulars. I do know that every single person I spoke to about it when it first came out had be awfully excited to have an accessible La Cornue that would fit their kitchens, and to a one came back from W-S totally P.O.'d, saying that it wasn't a real La Cornue and was total shlock. They may have improved from the first ones on the market, but this is definitely a new range that is more about MBA issues of price point, inventory and sell through than the vaunted old La Cornue standards.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Another idea: Since you mentioned an Advantium, which doesn't look vintage at all, how about an open burner rangetop over drawers, maybe a warming drawer, etc., all wrapped and colored to look like a vintage range, with wall oven(s) elsewhere?


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

The CornueFe didn't have a "solid" enough feel to it for the amount she spent on it IMHO. I was expecting something like a Rolls Royce type of handmade fit and finish--a bit quirky maybe, but high quality oozing out of it. Instead, it was more like my SIL's M class Mercedes. It still has that star, but it's never had that great of a build quality and she always has problems with it---more of an Ford Explorer with pretensions than a true Mercedes.

I also wasn't able to get a pan hot enough to really do my stir fried green beans. That was to be my contribution to the steak grilled outside. It's a dish I do often at home because it's quick, but it needs high heat to get the "char" taste to go along with the oyster sauce that finishes it off or it's just not quite the same dish. I do stir fry quite a bit though, so my bias is always going to be for something that puts out a bunch of heat.

For the amount and way she uses a range at that house though, I would have thought she'd have put in just a cheap Electrolux or something. She's happy with the CornueFe though, and it does have that more retro-ish vibe that did suit the "upscale cabin in the woods" look that her lake home has. It was a basic white, which helped the retro look a lot I think. Her other strong contender was the Heartland something or other (I'm not that up on Heartland) and I can't remember why she chose the CornueFe over that. Some styling cue probably, though.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Another idea: Since you mentioned an Advantium, which doesn't look vintage at all, how about an open burner rangetop over drawers, maybe a warming drawer, etc., all wrapped and colored to look like a vintage range, with wall oven(s) elsewhere?

I've thought of exactly this. Since I don't even know the size or shape of my future kitchen, or even whether it will be any different from my current one, I could end up with a cooktop again. I was just poking around online to see how much La Cornue charges for those Chateau cabinets of their that look like the ranges--they'd be perfect.

However, they probably cost as much of as a range.

In terms of solid feel and heft, well, it's an Aga, not a real La Cornue. My sense is that the people who buy super-pretty ranges rarely cook, and the corporate accountants have caught on to this.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Sigh. Marcolo, I'm sure you're right. More architects and designers buy the pretty ranges (for non-cooking clients who don't care what goes in so long as it's pretty) than materfamiliases. OTOH, if you want solid feel, the AGA 6-4 is cast iron. :) MV cooks, and she likes hers. :)


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Cabinets could be done custom in that style and contrast painted for similar look. Not metal but no less durable than any wood cabinet kitchen.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Aluminum channels surrounding satin black MDF panels could mimic that look quite well. If you found the right cabinet maker who could get excited about being out of the box, it could turn out quite nice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Aluminum U channel


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Great idea. I imagine powder coating the doors is another option, too, with the silvery trim added on top.

After some phone calls today, it seems that the Ilve is not an utter disaster but does indeed generate disproportionate service calls; the Aga Legacy does a bit better.

Although I'd really prefer that 12K Magic Chef estate range, I don't think 9K burners will tide me over.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I was just poking around online to see how much La Cornue charges for those Chateau cabinets of their that look like the ranges--they'd be perfect.

The most recent brochure I found online is March 2010 - I too was drooling over La Cornue ranges. The cabinet prices are outrageous/silly. A 19" wide cabinet (standard 24" depth) with one door and a false drawer at the bottom starts at $6500, with a working drawer $7100. Dishwasher panel starts at $3750. I mean, c'mon.

Linking the brochure below (Adobe) - cabinets start on page 14.

The broch

Here is a link that might be useful: La Cornue pricing brochure from March 2010


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Hi Marcolo
I have a Blue Star in my twenties-vintage kitchen. I know you've seen it (gum wood kitchen) and the photos are still on atticmag. I love the Blue Star-- had the same concern about the oven never having had gas, but I love it. My personal opinion-- and I considered doing it because I had loved the brass on the Lacanche-- is that putting the brass on the Blue Star looks silly. It just doesn't work with its straightforward restaurant range look. A plain ol Garland was good enough for Julia and it's good enough for me, and besides just looks more vintage. I think a black range would have looked more vintage than the bottle green that I chose but I love the green with the wood. I had wanted a green range ever since I saw orchidluv'rs green Lacanche. So I compromised the vintage look for the green color.
Anyway, here's a vote for Blue Star whatever color -- but keep it simple!


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

No personal experience, but how about this:


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I saw a few things in person today--more tomorrow.

Clearly, the open burner ranges (BS & CC) are the practical choice. I have my own opinion about the differences between them. The BS burners definitely look more old-school, and of course BS has a dedicated simmer burner. However, the BS oven door is really effing hot, where the CC door is not.

For the less practical choice, the Aga Legacy looks even better in person than it does in pictures. It's really cute. There was a rap a while back about flimsy doors but those must have changed--the metal is perfectly solid. In the 36" version, the ovens are pretty wee and I'd feel more comfortable if the layout permitted an additional wall oven.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

But...how were the burners on the Legacy?

Did you try out any cookware in it? I can get a surprising amount, including my biggest baking dish and my small (8 qt.) roaster into my smallest oven. You don't need as much air room in a convection oven. In fact, you hardly need any.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Actually I have to do another search for a dual fuel Legacy, just to see the burners. The model I saw was electric, so I looked mostly at fit and finish, and the ovens. Infuriatingly, the induction offered on Rangemasters in Europe is not available here.

At least the photographs show some weak attempt to make the larger closed burners function with a double-ring design. But I have to see in person.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

What about a Five Star? Its not really vintagey but you can have brass trim and open burners if that's what you want. Sabjimata posted about hers and seemed pleased by the power.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Thanks. Five Star is very hard to find information about. But perhaps I should launch another investigation.

plllog, I found out that the only dual fuel Legacy is about an hour away, but at least it's the same place that has the Cornufe Albertine on the floor, so now I have a destination for next weekend. Today, I saw an older model Aga 6-4 today, and frankly I was pretty scared by the burners. Huge closed hubcaps. I pictured a giant donut of fire that would singe your wrists long before the pasta boiled. However, the current Legacy pictures online look at least a little different.

Interestingly, the Fratelli Onofri has dual-stacked burners. I'm not a fan but they are clearly an improvement over the mushroom caps. Too bad the company is in bankruptcy.

The other thing that had dual-stacked burners was the Heartland Legend. But the design is very, very boxy, and I got a veto on it that I have to honor. Plus, it's discontinued and that doesn't seem like a wise investment.

I'm not looking for cooking perfection. I don't really need restaurant volcanos. I just need burners that don't outright suck.

BTW, did I tell you how fearsomely hot the BS oven doors are? OMG. If CC had a simmer burner then that would be my default "practical" choice.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Gee, I've been cooking on an Aga 6-4 now, day and night, for nearly 3 years now. Have never so much as singed a potholder, much less my wrist on those burners! Obviously, you are leaning towards the Legacy, if Aga at all. And I won't try to sell you different. But the burners on the 6-4 are simultaneously tame and effective. No hubcaps and no problems whatsoever.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

So did you encounter a hot Bluestar door at a live demo? Yes, the door gets hot, especially near the bottom. But here is the thing: I never touch the door, except by the handle. If you are ruling out Bluestar only based on that then you might be short changing yourself. I am not trying to push the BS, but honestly in my experience this hot door thing is such a non issue in practice. It seems you really want a dual range. If that were my situation I would go Wolf, no question. I would then let the vintage elements come from elsewhere and let the Wolf slot in as an unobtrusive element (you can get the black knobs).


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

To add to Tina's above, you could also get a Wolf painted. Again, the question is whether you can have open burners over an electric oven, which seems to be the goal once you have the look. Maybe Lacanche. Perhaps it would be worth calling that vintage stove place? It's in Mass. somewhere. I don't remember exactly what they do, but a lot of these restorers do tear down the whole range and put in thoroughly modern guts, and do electric conversions as well. It might be worth some phone calls...

Have fun on your outing next week. I'm sure I'm not the only one who will be glad to hear what you learn.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Not meaning to diss your Aga, marthavila. I'm sure you've made great meals on it. On the version I saw, the wok burner had a dual ring, but the rapid burners seemed like really large mushroom caps, and those are the ones that worried me regarding flame distribution.

Re: The BS doors--there are no kiddies in the house but there may be a pooch at some point. More importantly, I don't love cooking over a hot oven anyway, so the more insulation, the better.

Wolf is doing away with its semi-open burners.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

FYI this is what a Five-Star looks like with white doors and brass trim. Still no performance info about them.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo: I think I read on another thread that Capital is coming out with a dual fuel Culinarian - at least I THINK that is what I heard. Perhaps that might be your answer. Personally I don't think that 5 star looks any more vintage than BS or any other pro look range. Also wondering about brass - that to me is more Victorian rather than 1920s. I think 1920s is more plain Jane, but that is just my take. I agree with what sayde that about brass on the bluestar - I think it would look silly also. Now on the Ilve or the Lacanche or something, or even the CornuFe it is an entirely different proposition and I think it can look stunning there. Another consideration: are you doing brass hardware on your cabinets, lighting etc? I would want to see other brass accents around the kitchen if I were doing brass on the range. It is overwhelming I know and you will be relieved once you set some boundaries that start to eliminate some of the options. Good luck!


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Have you considered the Bosch 'Titanium' dual fuel?

Photobucket

I know this isn't a 'vintage look' range. But it is dual fuel and the white front panel might look cute in a 1920s kitchen, especially with other white appliances and a white sink. The price, at under 2000 dollars is good. And, with your aversion to "pro" ranges or fake commercial ranges, seems like it might be an interesting option.

Here is a picture showing (not the 'Titanium') how cute a regular non-pro range can look in a kitchen:

Photobucket


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Reporting back:

Cornue Albertine. It didn't help that it was sitting next to a real La Cornue that costs the price of a car. But at $6800 I expected...something. The version I saw was trimmed in stainless steel--a fingerprintery mess, and it looked very tacked on. The doors flexed when you touched them. The closed hobs were all gigantic disks--no attempt to spread the flame with double rings or anything. I did like the knobs, but really, this stove should be half the price or less for the quality.

Aga Legacy Dual Fuel 36" Somewhat relieved by the burners. They were much better than the (really old) 6-4 I saw in the other showroom. If I have a chance I will post some of the photos I took. This Aga was sitting alone on the floor, not against a wall, and the range has no back on it! It's the weirdest thing. The top extends back to where the wall would be, and there sits the little integrated backsplash. That backsplash feels very cheap, BTW, especially when not supported by the wall. But the actual working oven parts don't come anywhere near that far back, so from the side the range looks like half a "T." But I do like the stove.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Phew! At least you have one that ticks the boxes. When I read your description it was one that came to mind. Since it wasn't against a wall, I assume it wasn't hooked up? Is there anywhere you can try out the burners for real? Was the range a demonstration model? Or are they all like that? Perhaps it makes them easier to service that way? Harder for mice to take up residence? Too easy for the cat to?


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I think the idea of a "vintage" what ever is wrong.

Cabinets / furniture is fine. But I'd suggest buying the best applicances I could get.

We have Viking. They have many colors - I'm sure others do. IMO, go for the clean - blend into the background design.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I saw this on Craigslist today and thought of you, just in case you're disenchanted with the newer ones :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Vintage Chambers Range


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

It sounds like you are not interested in the Aga 6-4 at this point, but I have been cooking on mine for 7 years. We are the family gathering house, and the stove has had a lot of use. We have dogs, small children, and random moments of general dysfunction. The only problem with the range was easily handled, good customer service when I dealt with the company directly in the early years (I had a guy...can't recall his name...who just sent me whatever I needed, which wasn't much). Anyway, I will check back here: if you are still interested at all in the 6-4 I know Marthavila can answer everything, but happy to chime in.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I am in the market for a new range. I wanted something with high heat because I do a lot of stir fry, and rarely bake. I also wanted looks wise something that came in black with brass and stainless accents. I narrowed it down to Viking, Bluestar, and the CornuFe 90 / albertine because I could see them in person, but the closest Williams-Sonoma that carries the cornuFe near me is like 1.5 hours drive. I was concerned about customer service etc and never went to see it. I am leaning heavily toward the Bluestar with brass accents. I feel that (at least in my eyes) it will still
have that same general look / feel of the French ranges but fulfills my
other needs also. The Viking with black / brass I think is also really pretty
but I am seduced by the idea of the powerful Bluestar burners.
PS - Sayde if you are reading, we are doing natural wood cabs also, and your kitchen is one of my absolute favorites.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I searched online for pictures of a Bluestar with brass trim, but found nothing. I am not seeking out the French look, but thought brass might add a level of vintage quirkiness nonetheless. But not one single image was available.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Claybabe! Long time no see! You were my original source of encouragement for going the Aga 6-4 route and I will never regret having made that choice under your advisement! Although I agree with you that it doesn't look like Marc is going to join us, I would always be willing to defer to your wisdom and even longer stretch of experience with this product. Great seeing you around these parts and do give me a holler offline! :-)


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo - sounds like you are considering cream / brass? I am thinking of black / brass / stainless. These are the three I am vascillating amongst. I am not quite as TKO as some on here, but love to cook and consider myself TKO- "lite". Function comes first for me, but I do admit that I like having stuff different from what everyone else in my area has.
Here is the Viking black / brass - I do love the look of this.

Bluestar black / brass - I think you can get the knobs in stainless (shown in black) but I need to call again to confirm. The price on bluestar is a bit better, and I'm wooed by the hot burners. Plus the local salesman owns one himself and told me he loves it. (they sell all these brands)

And the CornuFe 90 - just lovely, but my husband feels a bit too blingy (although it's ultimately up to me). Not made in US, smaller oven space than the Viking or Bluestar, burners not as hot, and, perhaps silly, but I wonder if I'd miss peeking in the little window on the rare occasion that I bake anything? But if my range looked like that perhaps I wouldn't care.

Sorry, I am not trying to highjack your thread, but the fact that you were asking about brass trim on some of the same ranges I am also considering made me chime in.


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pics of ranges

Sorry - photos showed up in my preview before posting - trying again

Photobucket
Photobucket

Photobucket


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Hey! Marthavila, nice to read your cheery voice! And I think one year or 7 years and everything in between, all the same really.

I find myself thinking about how amped up I was choosing the stove, and how it just seems normal now. Don't get me wrong, I am glad I spent so much time obsessing over every detail of the kitchen and the appliances (and it was fun!). I really think that if you spend some time thinking about how you need the machine to perform (cooking, visuals, financially, etc) you will make a decision that will be durable and pleasing.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

The problem with the brass on the Bluestar is that both the towel rail/handle and the mounting brackets are brass. So instead of looking like an accent, it looks a bit gaudy.

I remember a few years ago, the mounts were chrome and only the bar was brass, and that looked much better. Or you could order it to look like the Viking picture above, with the stainless bar and only the brackets in brass. Either seems more tasteful to my eye.

I'm sure they'd do it that way if you asked.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Never buy a Cornufe without seeing one in person. I eliminated it at first glance. It's cheap looking and tacky in person.

I agree that the BS would look better with a more discreet use of the brass.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

In the late 60's my parents did a lot of remodeling on my childhood home. They bought a new electric range that had the outward appearance of an old wood cook stove, down to the warming ovens in the high top. It had all of the curlicues and iron trim, and was shiny black but for the brushed chrome border to the cooktop, handles and cartouches on the doors.
It was an awful choice. One of Sears Roebuck & Co.'s worst products. It even suffered a small electrical fire once.
Appearance should take a backseat to actual performance, IMO.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I just called Bluestar. It seems you can specify any of the accents in brass or chrome - so I will be able to ask for the brass just around the knobs, and the end caps on the handle, with the actual knobs and handle in chrome / stainless (just like the Viking picture). That makes me happy!


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

jenny, when are you getting yours? Be sure you post a pic.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

I am going tonight to look (again) at a Bluestar vs Viking - I have to make a decision pretty soon. My DH kind of wants the Viking because he's never heard of Bluestar, but ultimately its up to me since I do the majority of the cooking. Unfortunately I'll only be able to decide on brass through pictures, they don't have any ranges with brass accents sitting in the showroom. I'm hoping that since the brass on both are only very small touches (vs. the CornuFe) that it will be very subtle and not too much regardless of which one we go with. I was told the special order (colored) Bluestar would take 6 weeks, but who knows. The Viking would be a bit longer than that.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Last weekend I had yet another appliance dealer (not Trevor) tell me to get BS over Viking. Interestingly, he sold both.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Marcolo: This is just a question born of curiosity. I posted a picture of a BS "Precious Metals" (nee "Inspired by Marcus") range upthread. You didn't bite, so I take it that range holds no interest for any of a number of reasons. I am not writing to talk you into it -- I just had an aesthetic question: Do you think it looks old-timey or not? Clearly, I do, but wanted to know if you thought it appeared vintage.

TIA, A_D


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Well, I thought of you when I saw this range on One King's Lane. It's Diane Keaton's and a portion of the proceeds go to charity. The chrome is pretty stunning, not to mention the configuration is a rare one!

Here is a link that might be useful: O'Keefe & Merrit


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

That's absolutely stunning, hollysprings--in looks and price!

I thought I'd update with my promised pics of the Aga Legacy's mysteeriously flat butt. Here's what the uninstalled range looks like from the side.

FYI these are the burners. Big mushroom caps still give me the heeby-jeebies but at least the huge burner has a double ring.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

My range is in, but I haven't seen it yet / don't have it yet, so no pictures to share yet. I hope I love the way it looks...but even if I don't I'm sure I'll love cooking on it! PS - sold our 42" smoothtop Frigidaire range via craigslist just last night so I'm glad it found a home.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

So you got the BS? How did you configure the brass?

Oh, Angie, I think that range could fit a vintage kitchen simply by not being jarringly modern, but I can't think of any era of stove that those ranges would echo.


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RE: Any personal experience with a vintage-''look'' range?

Yes I ordered the Bluestar - I wanted it to look as much like the Viking as possible, so I just ordered the brass on the bezels and the end caps. The handle is stainless and the knobs are "enchanted silver" - they don't come in stainless apparently, and BS said that is what I should choose (enchanted silver) to get the same look. Hope it's not too sparkly or anything.


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