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.