The One That Got Away: Dansk Paella Pan

IMG_0911In two and a half years of selling vintage treasures on Etsy, the online marketplace, I’ve found loving homes for a lot of cool stuff. Mostly I sell things that I like a lot but that don’t fit my very relaxed lifestyle or that I simply don’t have room for.

Every once in a while, though, I regret parting with one of my beauties.

One such regret is this fabulous Danish Modern paella pan.

IMG_0919These pans were made by Dansk in the 1950s and ‘60s; the line is called Kobenstyle. The exterior color was a rich, deep yellow enamel–the color of French’s mustard. The interior was glossy, bright white with a thin black hint of metal showing around the edge.

I found the pan at a garage sale and I could see it was special. Even though my usual taste does not run to Danish Modern, the pan was priced very reasonably and in perfect condition, so I bought it with the intention of selling it.

After I took photos of it and listed it on Etsy, I put it out on my coffee table, just as a place to keep it until it sold.

And I got used to seeing it there. It was sunny, and sleek, and made me think of a perfect fried egg.

In the couple of months I owned the pan, sometimes I’d fill it with fruit but mostly I thought it looked great empty.

But it was rarely empty.


Because it was the perfect size and shape for a cat.

IMG_0657And when a cat wasn’t sitting in it, it made the most amazing cat toy. The concave interior shape of the pan made it just right for containing a ping pong ball.

A cat could (and did) bat the ping pong ball around the slick interior and it would sail around that perfect groove, making the most fascinating zhoop-zhoop sound. Once in awhile the ball would go flying out, and bounce around the room, providing more fun.

But then, just when we got really attached to it, someone bought the pan. I heard the special “cha-ching” that the Etsy app makes on my phone and checked to see what had sold.

Oh, no! My pretty bowl. My cat’s favorite toy and spot to nap.

There was nothing to do but package it up and mail it off to its new lucky owner.

I found a ceramic bowl I had sitting around, to put on the table. It’s sort of the same shape but has never caught on, with the cat or with me. It’s pedestrian and has none of the verve of the Kobenstyle bowl and it doesn’t make a ping pong ball sing either.

So, now I have one more thing to look for when I go garage saling. Maybe someday, I’ll find another yellow Dansk paella pan, to replace the one that got away. The cat hopes so!





46 thoughts on “The One That Got Away: Dansk Paella Pan

  1. I love the pan, love the cat and LOVE this post and the heart and soul story behind it. I have to admit, the part where I discovered that the cat featured in the history of the pan was a real laugh-out-loud moment! Thank you-Karen.

    • I had a laugh-out-loud moment when I saw that girl in the pan and then, a couple hours later, saw another cat in it! It was QUITE the favorite spot–the catbird seat, if you will!

  2. I’ve sold some things that I hated to part with…but never anything my cat was fond of! You could have marketed a new item…the handy dandy multi-purpose paella pan / centerpiece / cat bed / cat toy!

  3. Your photo of your beautiful cat in the pan was super! It made me laugh. My cat will climb into any bag or box it can find.

  4. lovely pan (+ cat). i have a copco paella pan i scored at an estate sale last year. i find myself using it more + more. next to my inherited cast iron, which i love, the copco pan is amazing for so many things. hope you find another score + keep it for yourself – you’ll be glad you did!

  5. I know the feeling. Occasionally I’ll see something at a flea market and not buy it. If I keep remembering it for weeks afterwards, I’ll know that I should have purchased it–and keep my fingers crossed that it is still for sale when I go back.

  6. I LOVE that piece — so sunny and cherrful. When I was younger I hated anything yellow but the older I get the more I appreciate mustard colors. My cats would probably fight over who got to sleep in it though. =)

    • There was some jockeying for cat position in the bowl here, too! I didn’t think I liked that color but it won be over, as it sat on my table, looking charming.

  7. Oh no Kerry – you sold your kitty’s special napping place!!! 😉 I can see why you regret it a little. The pan has a great colour and is in perfect condition. I’d enjoy cooking a (vegetarian) paella in it! You mention an Etsy App that lets you know if you sold anything via your phone? Any idea where I can find it? I think I might need it too 🙂

    • Yes, my kitties may never forgive me. 😉

      The Etsy app is the main app developed by them. I use it on an iPhone but I think it works on an Android, too, or an iPad. You go to the app store for your smart phone and just download it. It’s quite handy–you can check stats, shop for stuff and even do listings right from your phone. And it makes this amazing “cha-ching” sound, like an old-time cash register, when you get a sale!

  8. Hi Kerry 🙂
    I was browsing through the latest Crate and Barrel catalog (my brother kindly sent it to me from USA) and guess what? They have a few Kobenstyle pieces – among others a lasagna dish in the same yellow enamel. So pretty! I thought of you…:)
    have a wonderful weekend, Duni

  9. Sympathies !!!
    I am trying to find a diffuser and a clam-free/shrimp-free paella recipe for the maiden voyage of my royal blue (?) version of that same pan.
    I got several pans, including 3 cute warmers, for a song, at a walk-in downsizing sale via a friend.
    If I see a yellow paella, I will try to get it to you if you haven’t already reconnected with one!
    All The Best!

    • Hi, Peter–don’t you love getting something wonderful as a bargain?! It’s the thing that keeps me going back to garage sales, in spite of mountains of junk–what if there’s a treasure hidden in there? The blue version of the pan must be gorgeous–I love the deep saturated colors. Good luck finding the right recipe!

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