Vintage Coppercraft Guild: Back in its Prime!

The warmth of copper has made a comeback to the style table, and this season is right up there with ‘seen and to be seen’. There are many great pieces to choose from, especially when it comes to vintage barware and home decor pieces made by the well known yet short lived company Coppercraft Guild.

Do you recognize their label?

BAR-3079-SZ Coppercraft Guild Roly Poly & Tray Set (3)

 

Coppercraft Guild was a top producer of copperware in their day, but if I told you they were the copper equivalent of Tupperware, would I have your attention?

Established in the 1970s, Coppercraft Guild was a direct marketing company out of Taunton, Massachusetts in the US. They specialized in high quality decorative houseware products that were made of solid copper and specially treated so they would not tarnish.

Like this sleek bud vase that doubles as a candle holder…

ACC-3078-SZ Coppercraft Guild Bud Vase (1)

Or this hanging kettle bowl planter that’s perfect for a small potted plant.

ACC-3080-SZ Coppercraft Guild Planter, Small (2)

But what set Coppercraft Guild apart was their use of a part-time sales force to sell product at home parties. Namely housewives employed as hostesses using a similar model to that of the infamous Tupperware home party system!

Though they were only in business a short time, Coppercraft Guild expanded their home party business into Canada. I was lucky enough to come across this vintage ad looking for prospective hostesses, and thought you might enjoy it, too!

Coppercraft Guild Image - Everything Zoomer 400px - blog

The ad says:

We need each other. We are looking for people like yourself to represent an established company selling a prestigious product through party plan sales. We feel Coppercraft Guild of Canada offers the most complete product line of solid copper and home accessories sold in Canada. Plus a hostess plan and recommendation program that is second to none in direct sales today. And we care. We care about each of our people the way any close family does about each of its members.

Fun, and as Coppercraft used to pitch, no other material is rich enough for company, yet informal enough for family! 

I had a hard time getting to the bottom of why Coppercraft Guild closed their doors, and actually never could verify for sure, but the chatter goes that the people who owned Coppercraft had a falling out. As a result the assets were divided and the company was shut down. Hmmmm…

Regardless, what we do know is Coppercraft Guild pieces were popular in their prime, and because the company was short lived, they are now treasures getting harder to find.

BAR-3079-SZ Coppercraft Guild Roly Poly & Tray Set (1)

Do you have any Coppercraft Guild pieces in your collection? If so, I would love to hear what pieces you have and how you acquired them. If not, all of these pieces can be found at Audrey Would!

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Coppercraft Guild Ad courtesy of Connect Everything Zoomer – click image for direct link. All other photographs by Sheila Zeller – please link and credit if you choose to use!

58 Replies to “Vintage Coppercraft Guild: Back in its Prime!”

    1. LOL – that is totally understandable, but… don’t you have kids? 😉 Never mind, I do too, and there’s no way I would be able to pass that task along! I wouldn’t even get an ‘A’ for effort on that one!

  1. We recently purchased a house “as-is” that belonged to a family of hoarders. We found a few boxes filled with Coppercraft Guild pieces. I am trying to sell them so they do not go to waste. Any ideas on the best place to find a wholesaler of these items? I’d rather not go through the hassle of e-bay. Please email me if you are interested or know anyone who is! Thanks!

    1. Hi Gina,

      All Coppercraft Guild pieces are vintage and no longer produced, so they are in essence collectibles. The question of value for this particular piece is one that I do not have any personal knowledge of. My suggestion is to research online to see what others are asking so you have a general sense of the average price point. This does not always guarantee you will get an accurate reading of what a piece is ultimately worth, but it does give you the ball park that others too will encounter when shopping online.

      I hope this is somewhat useful for you. Thanks so much for putting your questions forward! Sheila

  2. Hi, I’m just wondering if you can help me with something or recommend someone? I have an old mirror that has a coppercraft guild sticker on the back and wondering how I go about finding out if it is indeed coppercraft and how I can find a value on it. Your website was one of the 1st to pop up when I googled.
    Ive tried google as well to find a picture of the piece I have but have had no luck so far. I have pictures I can send you as well if you want.

    Thanks and any help advice/info be greatly appreciated.

    Jaclyn

    1. Hi Jaclyn,
      Coppercraft is a tough one to pin down – there seems to be very little about it on the web vs. its popularity in the 1970s. I’m definitely not an expert, but I would love to take a look at your photos – please don’t hesitate to send them to me. If I can offer any additional information, I am more than happy to. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I appreciate that. Sheila

  3. Hi Sheila….

    Wow, does this bring back memories!! I was a dealer in the 70’s and had some really big parties. I had so much fun and made a lot of friends. I still have a very large collection…pots, skillet, punch bowl, large tray, wine goblets, wine cooler, roly polys, and lots more. I don’t think that I have any books or literature, but if you are interested in any of the pieces, let me know. Thanks, Carolyn

    1. Hi Carolyn,
      What fun! Your collection must be amazing!! It’s really tough to find information on so much of the vintage ware, and I definitely found Coppercraft info. scarce when I was writing this article, but what I did learn painted a great picture of the Coppercraft Guild culture!

  4. My Mom was both a collector and a demonstrator. I have a box of original catalogs as well as NUMEROUS items, all in mint condition, many in original boxes. Might there be particular pieces you might be interested in?

    1. Wow, that is really incredible! I have just sent you a private message, but wanted to say, thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and to leave this comment. I really appreciate it!!

    2. Cindy,

      Just read your info regarding the Coppercraft Guild and your mom being a demonstrator. Well I was also a demonstrator in the early 70’s. I have a multitude of brand new copper pieces that I collected and saved. They are brand new, never used and still in the original boxes. I probably have at least a couple hundred brand new pieces. However I only have one catalogue. I read that you have a box of original catalogues and I would love to have a couple more. I would be willing to buy them from you if you’d like to sell a couple. My email is 46mikecook@gmail.com. Thanks, Kathy C.

  5. Your site is one of a few I’ve seen any information about Copper Craft. My mom also sold Copper Craft and I have her complete demonstration set, all in excellent condition. Looking to sell. Do you think there’s any interest in a complete set, say on Ebay- what would I ask for the complete demonstration set? or would I be better off selling individual pieces?

    Thanks for the info

    1. Hi Jenn,

      Wow, that’s pretty incredible! It’s hard to say what to ask for the demo set. I would be really interested in seeing photographs, and maybe we can go from there. If you are interested in sharing photos my email is: sheila@sheilzellerinteriors.com

      Thanks so much for your comment. I hope to hear back!
      Sheila

  6. I just bid on a house that has a lot of copper guild. I just cleaned them all up. I want to sell them to someone, but I don’t want to go through Ebay. I have about 30 – 40 pieces. What should I do?

  7. Hi! I just responded to a Craig’s List ad regarding a “LARGE COPPERCRAFT GUILD COLLECTION 21+ PIECES for $60.00. The collection includes a number of cups, a couple trays, a pair of candle stick holders, mugs, ice bucket, some pitchers, etc…. Most of the pieces come with the original boxes and paperwork. I sent an email expressing interest. Does $60.00 sound like a good price to you? I would probably keep some pieces and sell the rest. I’ve always like copper! Ty!

    1. Hi Sandy,
      YES! The price sounds good as long as the copper is in good shape. If there’s pitting, then you will want to be sure about the pieces you want to keep vs. sell. Good luck!

  8. I have a set of four napkin rings from my mother’s Estate, still in the box, still wrapped in plastic. I feel they are beautiful pieces and wanted to share 🙂

  9. I have a small tea pot that was given to me by my 90 year young aunt. I didn’t know anything about the copper craft guild, only that I loved the little tea pot and its craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experience.

    1. Hi Susan,

      I am so glad you came across the article. What a treasure to have a piece handed on to you by someone you care about. That’s when the best stories come to life! Enjoy your teapot for many years to come 🙂

      Sheila

  10. My late wife was a rep and collector. The stuff had some kind of shellac to keep from tarnishing. Shellac is off some pieces. I don’t know how to clean and polish. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Pat,
      Once the surface protectant starts to lift, it’s tricky to clean the copper. What happens is the remaining protectant starts to peel off in the cleaning process. I’ve found the decision has to be made to either clean the copper and be prepared for the coating to peel off… OR just leave the copper as is with its patina, etc. If you do opt to clean the copper note that it will also change from the deep coppery orange colour to a much pinky-orange hue. Other than that, I really don’t have any solution.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!
      ~Sheila

  11. I grew up on Long Island and my next door neighbor was a Coppercraft distributor for several years. That vintage ad touting the benefits of being a Coppercraft rep was like a ‘blast from the past’. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jill,

      Selling depends on where you are located… a free site is always a good place to start, i.e. USED, KIJIJI, CRAIGS LIST, local papers and newsletters, etc.

      Good luck!
      ~Sheila

  12. Thank you so much for this article! I just picked up two small footed Coppercraft plant pots with handles at the Value Village near my home. I love them! Thank you for this info!!

  13. I was a demonstrator back in the 70s and absolutely loved the product and still do.I had some great shows and met a lot of nice hostesses. I also had some male hosts which was a lot of fun. I remember one contest where if you were called during your show you would win a special copper gift that wasn’t in the catalog. I was so excited when I was called at my pool party show. The item I won was a copper coal skittle. I still have it today along with my many other pieces that I will never part with. What we were told when the company went out of business was that it was bought out by Towle Industries which is a big silver company. I also have many of the Christmas houses. A favorite of mine was broken and would love to replace it. Thanks for the great memories. Linda Marino

    1. Thank YOU Linda for sharing! I appreciate hearing back from people like yourself who know what Coppercraft is all about. Interesting the reason for selling. That’s one of the things I love so much about the vintage world – I love learning the stories! So happy you have some of your original pieces – I think that’s really special.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

      1. The backstory on Coppercraft Guild is that it was owned by the Collis brothers who did have a falling out. One of the brothers, Charles, then went on to start Princess House in 1963 with Dee McGuinness and George Eaton.

  14. Thanks so much for the bit of history! I have a coppercraft teapot that I would love to use, but I have been unable to find any information as to whether the stuff was made to eat and drink from, or was purely decorative. If it were solid copper all the way through I would have no doubt, but the inside is a dull silver color and I wonder about aluminum, lead, or some other coating that I shouldn’t boil water in. Do you know if the teapot is safe for daily use?

    1. Hi Gee,
      My understanding is that Coppercraft was designed to be used, and of course be decorative at the same time. I believe the kettle is lined with aluminum… that’s all I can offer and would recommend you speak with someone who knows more about the safety of this.
      Good luck!
      Sheila

  15. I have a pressed glass bowl and on the inside I found Coppercraft Guild paperwork that talks about copper and glass items. “A truly unique and beautiful blend of tempered pressed glass and bright solid cooper is brought to you in this distinctive line of serving accessories from Coppercraft Guild.” I do not have the copper base but I have not been able to fine a picture of anything like it. Do you know anything about this line of serving accessories?

    1. Hi Lillie,
      I really don’t know anything about it, sadly. I’ve pieced the information together and you can glean a lot from the comment thread, but honestly, finding information on Copperccraft has been quite challenging. I hope you can find out more, I just sorry I couldn’t be more helpful 🙁

  16. My mother was curious about the 70s prices for the items
    She said they were like $100+ per piece
    And she’s surprised they went down in value

    Do you know how much the incense pot was?
    The last supper?
    And the little piggy banks?

    1. I’m really sorry Grace, but I don’t. Prices for vintage pieces seem to be a wide sweep from a depreciated value to value far beyond the original. The prices on Coppercraft surprise me. It’s such a great quality product, but I think people are afraid of copper because they connect it with tarnishing and make-work polishing. A Coppercraft piece in good shape takes on a nice burnished patina, but because of the special finish Coppercraft applied to their pieces, actually resists tarnishing. Thank you for sharing. I wish I could be more helpful in answering your question.

  17. HI all
    My mom was one of these copper craft hostess! I remember the big orange colored case that i would help her set up for parties! My mom i do beleive has the entire collection of items. Plus i also have some of them. but I cannot keep all of them my house is to small for them! My mom now lives in a nursing home and will never be able to enjoy them again so i will be placing them up for sale! I have looked on ebay and ect for prices so if anyone is interested drop me a line

  18. Hi my daughter has recently bought a house and has found several pieces of coppercraft. She would like to sell them and we have no idea how much they are worth. Could you possibly help us? Thanks!

  19. Hello, I have a 20 inch Copper Hanging Plate that I got out of an old house about 20 years ago and fell in love with it immediately. I have often wondered about it and decided to do some research on it today and I discovered that it was Made by The Massachusetts Copper Guild Taunton. It s the old man cutting wood in front of an old log cabin, with his dog and wife looking on. I know it was made in the 1970’s when the Coppers Guild was young. I would like to know what it is worth and exactly when it was made, I have seen several of them online and on Ebay just like it, and mine is in mint condition. Could you please reply to me and let me know at belindagraves38@gmail.com or via facebook at Belinda Graves Hill or by telephone at 606-765-9615, text or call. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you, Belinda Graves

  20. I loved reading all the comments, this brings back so many memories! When I was growing up on Long Island my mother took on a second job as a Coppercraft hostess and had LOTS of parties. I was about 12 years old and I remember having to go to all the shows with her. My mother was a single mom who worked retail during the day as a Montgomery Ward catalog store manager and this job allowed her to take me with her instead of leaving me home alone. My responsibility was to pack and unpack all the pieces in the ‘suitcases’, each one wrapped in it’s felt bag. I would help her set up the displays too and take orders. I hated it at the time lol but she always told me I had a knack for fitting it all back in the cases. 🙂 She passed away in 2008 and I still have all her pieces. She was quite a collector of things and I still have, and will always have, many of her things, but if I could find someone to appreciate her copper collection I’d be interested in selling it. If you’d like to see pictures or could point me in the right direction I’d be very thankful since I’m 56 now and am starting to think about downsizing.

  21. I have just purchased from the USA via ebay a copper wall plaque depicting a copper smith at work. I bought it in memory of my late husband, who sadly passed away last May. He worked in copper and was also a registered silver smith, and won prizes for his beautiful cloisonne pendants. I was amazed to find the label on the back of the plaque showing Taunton, Mass., as my husband grew up in Taunton, Somerset England, UK. The plaque is a wonderful piece of work, which I will always treasure, and I will be looking for further items to collect.

  22. I have a small bowl stamped CopperCraft Guild on the bottom. It was very dirty and I tried to clean it using directions I found on the internet, to boil it in salt and vinegar. Now it is splotchy with parts shiny and parts dull. Do you have a suggestion to clean it? Would a copper cleaner do the trick? Or have I ruined it for life?

    1. Hi Ruth,
      The suggestion to use salt on copper surprises me, because salt will likely cause it to corrode and pit – my guess is it contributed to the splotchiness. Coppercraft Guild was manufactured with a protective coating, which has now from the sounds of it, broken down. You can try a copper cleaner, and I would even do a final buff with a polishing cloth meant for silver, but in the end it’s hard to say how deep the damage has gone as to whether or not the shine will come back. Good luck!! I hope something works for you 🙂

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