Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rodney Kent

Commonly called a dresser set, a catalog  lists this as being for condiments

   Rodney Kent has the distinction of being the last major company to enter the aluminum gift ware field during
its heyday and of being the first to be recognized by the few dealers who actually noticed aluminum. 
   One of the first things to learn about this line of aluminum products is that Rodney Kent was not a person. This has been stated many times but kept in mind that there are many new collectors who are only now beginning to learn about the history of the companies.
     In 1997, the discovery of a Palmer-Smith-like piece marked Rodney Kent and with an attached leaflet stating that it was made of alloy of aluminum and manganese (Magalon). Some detective work by several collectors and then a phone conversation with Stanley Gelford, the head of the company making this new and totally different line of Rodney Kent, finally shed light on the company background. Gelford was a young engineer working for Krischer Gift Ware. At one time he was almost fired, later became a partner, and still later bought the company renaming it Shane Industries.
Krischer ice bucket w/green
crock liner
flower/ribbon trim
        While working for Krischer,  Gelford was placed in charge creating a new line of gift ware.  In our interview he credited the talents of many others for its successful design. In fact one of our group of collectors is a descendant of the man who created the very attractive ribbon and flower designed handles and another collector's father sold Rodney Kent products.
     Gelford was also in charge of creating a name for this venture and was at his wits end until he looked out his office window and focused upon a street sign at the corner of Rodney and Kent streets. Problem solved! Incidentally, those streets no longer exist under those names.
     Only one motif, a tulip, was ever featured but the variety of unique serving pieces and the glass pieces combined with the aluminum made this a very popular and memorable line of gift ware.
     As an extremely popular line, the Aluminist received many questions concerning both numbered and unnumbered items and finally developed a list matching each number with a description of the item. According to the record assembled by the Aluminist, the numbers began with #400 through #499. There were 32 unnumbered items described. The list was not complete with no item described for at least 35 of the numbers, but we may possibly now be able Lazy Susan, 16""identify the missing pieces. We did learn that on a few occasions the same number would appear on two different items.

I am copying the list and it will be set up as a separate page on this blog for reference and additions


1000’s of pieces of aluminum by Wendell August Fordge, Palmer Smith,
Buenilum, Everlast, Continental, Arthur-Armour, Bruce Fox, Cellini-Craft, Shup Laird,
J. Braun, Guildcraft & more.  Many hard to find patterns and forms!

Sale to be held at Conestoga Auction Co., Manheim, PA. Auction will be listed through
LiveAuctioneers.com for live bidding, phone and absentee bidding also available.

Only two months away to dig into all the drawers for loose change, to break open the piggy banks and maybe consider cashing a CD....this is a fabulous opportunity to own a few pieces of some of the best and most unique pieces of decorative aluminum ever made. A very through cataloging is in process and many details and  pictures will be available in future issues of the Aluminist.



Did you know that the statistics on The Aluminist blog show
 that the posts on 
Continental have been the most widely read. I'm wondering if anyone has a pattern/motif that was not featured in out posts. 

Speaking of  viewers, would you have guessed that besides the U.S., we have viewers from Russia, Iran, Slovenia, Brazil, Germany, India, and the Netherlands. My wish is to hear comments from each of these viewers. Their addresses are never shown.


  1. A month ago I did a lot of research on Cellini Craft and the tiles they used which brought me to LiveAuctioneers.com and to get the price of the Cellini tray sold in 2005 I had to register. It is painless and free and one can look at sold items defined in ones search terms going back at least 6 years if not more. Some of the HA prices fetched are really sad, but this tray [chipped tile and scratches and dents] sold for the opening bid of $200:


    Copy and paste the link into your browser. From that sold tray page one can go to register. Once registered one can search sold prices, browse and of course bid.

  2. Yikes! It is crazy the way prices go. If that $200 bid for a damaged piece is any indication, this auction should be a high dollar affair.

  3. My Mother has a Rodney Kent serving tray numbered (412) she recieved in the mid 1950's. We had been looking for info about the tray.

    1. I have one tulip tray marked 408 and trying to find out the worth......

    2. I have what sounds very similar to what is being discussed here, a round serving tray with the noted tulip design etched as well as etched handles. I also have a matching pitcher. The stamp on the back of mine says " Hand Wrought Creations by Rodney Kent" stamped 431. I have just obtained this item from my Mother who received this item as a wedding gift in the mid 1950's. No idea if it is worth anything....lol...hope so as this may be my only inheritance.

  4. I have a beautiful tulip serving tray with handles. It is in excellent condition. On the bottom it says Hand Wrought, then what appears to read something like C(??)cations by Rodney Kent. There is also some kind of logo on it. It is numbered 423. Does anyone have any info about this piece. j.meise@comcast.net

    1. I saw your questions. you can reference my blog http://rodneykentaluminum.blogspot.com for more information and upcoming photos. 423 is one of many trays produced. Measuring 14"x23" is has the shield stamp on it showing that it was produced in the late 1940's or 1950's. They sell at a wide range of pricing on Ebay, but a reasonable price if the item is in good shape with little wear is $25-$35 currently. If it still has the original tag or if the original box is there, it could bring as much as $50.

  5. We also have #478, a round serving tray. j.meise@comcast.net

    1. Round tray #478 is the 16" tray with the 1" soup bowl rim and arched handles. It is the smaller of the two round trays produced. The larger tray, #424, is 17 1/2"

    2. do you know the value of the #424? I have that one

  6. I just purchased a Rodney Kent signed piece. On the bottom it says "Rodney Kent" with the shield stamp and #402. It is a 12" bowl that has a 1" rim. It does not have any handles or tulips, just the plain pounded aluminum. I have looked at many images of RK pieces and cannot find anything identical to this. Any help in identifying this would be much appreciated!

  7. Any idea the value of my #61 container with lid that has a single tulip petal as the piece you grasp to pick up the lid of it ? It also has 3 etched tulips on lid . Thanks for any info

  8. I have a 408 and just noticed the stamp on the bottom of the tray. On ebay the prices are not high. Does anyone know why? What year was the first 408 made?

  9. I have 450 round tray. Any value,