Friday, September 17, 2010

Palmer-Smith- more Continental

     While glancing through my notebook of Continental information, my memory got a jolt when I saw there a few copies of Ed Gangawere's beautiful little publication The Continental Report. Ed had an extensive collection of the pieces made by this company but unfortunately his collection was destroyed by fire.

     What caught my eye in his publication was three new Continental motifs.  I knew this but had forgotten!  One was a dahlia appearing flower appearing in conjunction with the Wild Rose motif. Another was described as a Bull's Eye design. The third was a wreath.  How could I have forgotten?  Very easily, it appears!
      These additions to the Continental list may not be the last. I hope someone viewing this has a piece with one of these motifs.

Left. A sketch made from one of Ed's pieces, unofficially named Dahlia.  Right, a rubbing made from the motif on another piece, and called Wreath.
     There is no image of the Bull's Eye  to show, but if anyone has one it will be no problem to identify.
     Ed also passed along information of another popular Continental line: the items are made of solid copper with a thin coating of tin leaving only the motif showing in. copper. Both the Mum and the Pansy motifs were done in copper. Many collectors have wondered about these pieces which are hammered but definitely not aluminum.

Moving on....
     After the blog on Aluminum That is Not Hammered, Seaneen sent this photo of a beautiful Palmer-Smith tray. 

The horse and rider attached at either end are an example of the many attachments with which Arthur Palmer enhanced his products. All were painstakingly created and most followed the sporting interest of the day although one of my favorites is a delicate, slender flamingo.

      Arthur Palmer was employed at the Wendell August Forge for a number of years before he left to start his own operation. While at the Forge he traveled extensively, exploring the market places for trends future buyer interests. He was extremely adept in noting these trends, yet his products remain almost timeless in design.
      All Palmer-Smith aluminum ware was made before the outbreak of WWII As with the entire aluminum giftware industry, the Palmer-Smith forge had to close during the WWII demand for aluminum, and it did not reopen afterwards although the Palmer-Smith line was continued in a new field: that of beautiful linens and a group of other accessories.
      WWII brought mass production into the hammered aluminum field and made possible the flooding of the market with these products. Although very attractive items continued to be made, many collectors insist they can feel the difference: that they can sense the presence of those long-ago artisans!
     The Wendell August Forge was a company that resumed its operations at the end of the war and continued their custom of producing only handmade items. We are grateful that the Forge has survived another setback from losing so much in last winter's fire and are happy that they are carrying on their tradition of handmade products. Their new catalog is ready as is a new line of jewelry.

A Palmer-Smith Collection:

The Nordic motif on this large tray is also used on the salad set below.

 R. Paper weight with tiny cast bird.

Rope motif  on square tray
with Ring and Ball  handles.
Right: Candy dish with cast Sea Horse stand.

Left: Leaf shaped tray with cast acorn decoration
 Right: Oval tray with Wheat motif.


Left: Pipe "knocker" with Pine motif.
Center knob "knocker" is
Note: I assume I was told correctly that was the purpose of the item on the left! I can 
not find information in my files.
Right: Lily motif on shallow


Left: Vine & leaf motif on flat
Right: Bowl using Square Fern


Left: Flower chain motif on shallow tray with                                      Ring and Ball handles.                                                        Right: Simple motif of Ducks  on small bowl.

Right: Small oval tray with Cherry Branch. 

Greek Key motif decorates the handles and lines the enter edge of the tray.

Right:A bracelet # 1 and napkin ring, #1 shown with a motif that may be titled Curvilinear.
   The two small dishes  with their cast decoration are examples of the many cast items used by Palmer-Smith.    Others include in addition to the ones shown in the above listings::
Elephant          Flamingo           Gun            Dolphin
Dachsund        Horse head       Parrot          Monkey
Right: An unusual ash tray
listed in an old catalog as
a Triangle Lip Ash Tray.
Shown here in the Thumbprint motif.

Left: The Petunia  motif is    
 rather rare.
Right: The Ivy motif edging the deep tray, was a very
popular one in many areas.
Remember the ivy patterned wallpaper of the '40s-'50s?


The Wheat Motif is on this tray, which was a gift to me. Badly bent in several places, my metal working husband restored it to almost perfect condition. He laughingly insisted that the giver must have ridden a motorcycle over it several times to create such damage. Great memories!

I can find no official name or image of this motif. Help!
I thought this would be a simple blog. It hasn't been! Palmer-Smith was extremely prolific in its years of operation, making many unique items that we may never see in the market place: their timeless design may assure them a place as family heirlooms. I look forward to a follow-up as some of you may have interesting pieces to share.... just as Seaneen's started this entire blog subject today.