Vintage 101: The History of Coppercraft Guild

Over the course of the last year or so, I’ve really developed a love for vintage copper. It’s just so warm and glowy and gorgeous; it has the impact and pizazz of more luxurious metals, but it feels a bit more down-to-earth and approachable. Know what I mean?

As I began finding and collecting more an more vintage copper pieces (mostly to sell in the WAV shop, but there have definitely been a few keepers as well!), I started to notice a familiar-looking sticker on the bottom of a number of the pieces I’d found. The sticker read: Coppercraft Guild – Taunton, Mass.

The foil label found on the underside of many Coppercraft Guild pieces.

Something about the word ‘guild’ paired with the Massachusetts locale conjured up images of turn-of-the-century artisans creating hand-worked copper pieces in some sleepy New England town. While I was happy to go on imagining that was the case for a while, I eventually became curious about the story behind Coppercraft Guild, and what I uncovered might surprise you!

Coppercraft Guild watering can with brass handle and spout – as well as a cute little footed planter on the left.

Founded in 1973 (edit: please see note on dates at the end of this post), Coppercraft Guild was a subsidiary of the Tandy Corporation. Does Tandy sound familiar to you? They were the company that launched RadioShack in 1962, and eventually went on to become one of three major players in the personal computer revolution of 1977 (the others being Apple and Commodore), offering pre-assembled ‘micro-computers’ intended for home use. Someone at Tandy clearly knew what they were doing when they jumped on board with the personal computer trend – but technology wasn’t the only trend Tandy was interested in. In fact, the company also had their eye on the ‘network marketing’ trend made popular by Tupperware in the 1950s.

A vintage Coppercraft Guild advertisement from the sZinteriors blog.

Just like Tupperware, Coppercraft Guild equipped their reps with a suitcase full of their copper home goods. Made of solid copper with a special coating to prevent tarnishing, these pieces were focused on design and craftsmanship and were very popular for gift-giving. The sales rep would host a Coppercraft Guild party, inviting friends to check out the samples and then order their own pieces via the hostess’s catalogue.

A pair of vintage Coppercraft Guild hanging planters – I love the one with little brass ‘feet’!

Though it sounds like a fool-proof plan to me (I would LOVE to attend one of these parties – I’ll have to add that to my Time Machine Bucket List!), Coppercraft Guild closed its doors in 1978, just five years after their launch. Though they were short-lived, Coppercraft Guild produced an impressive range of gift ware that has consistently remained popular with collectors over the years, and has only gained popularity with the recent upswing in copper’s appearances in design-centric publications and among interior design enthusiasts. What’s more, most of this stuff still looks great! Whatever secret ingredient they used in their top-secret coating really did the trick, as it’s not uncommon to find these pieces just as bright and shiny and beautiful as they were over 40 years ago.

I may not be hosting any copper parties anytime soon, and I (unfortunately) don’t have one of those magical sample-filled suitcases, but I can promise you Wise Apple Vintage will continue to stock these beautiful copper pieces for many, many years to come. Click here to pop on over to the shop and check out what’s currently for sale!

** Edit: Since sharing this post, I’ve received comments and emails from many fellow Coppercraft Guild fans, some of whom once had their very own suitcase full of Coppercraft goodies to sell! Since chatting with these folks, I’ve come to hear a wide range of dates for the company, opening as early as 1949, and closing dates up until 1983. I’m not an expert on Coppercraft Guild by any means, I’m just a fan and wanted to share the information that my research uncovered.

A set of roly poly tumblers by Coppercraft Guild – perfect for Moscow Mules!

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62 Comment

  1. Vicki Hench says:

    I have a copper and glass chip and dip bowl. Can you tell me the value?

    1. Nikki says:

      Hi Vicki! Your chip and dip bowl sounds lovely! The value would depend on who made the bowl, when it was made, and what condition it is in – sorry I can’t give you a more definitive answer! Sometimes I try a Google image search to try and find something similar… maybe that will help!

      1. Donald F Hall says:

        Coppercraft Guild …. Thanks for the info, is a Great story. I feel ya on going to the “Copper Party” Just found a Giant Serving Bowl i’m listing on Ebay. Peace

        1. Angeleana Peterman says:

          Have you had any luck w a buyer? I have 100+ pieces, 3 of the original cases and some wall plates that I have been looking to get rid of but cant find info on the value. All are in perfect condition.

          1. S. Garcia says:

            Do you have any of the 12 days of Christmas ornament? I only have the 1979, 80 and 81 “partridge in appear tree, two turtle doves and three French hens.” Would love to have “four calling birds” and forward.

        2. Linda L Thomas says:

          Do you know of anyone who would be interested in purchasing a very large collection of Coppercraft?

  2. Lisa says:

    Thank you for this post! I just found a whole bunch of Coppercraft guild items in my Mom’s home and really enjoyed reading about the history in this post. 🙂

    1. Nikki says:

      Hey Lisa! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post – and lucky you! Coppercraft Guild stuff is just so timeless and lovely! 🙂

  3. Stacey Brown says:

    I love your article! My grandfather worked in the factory in Taunton. My father recently gave me a collection of all the pieces he made. I loved reading this story. Thank you!

    1. Nikki says:

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the post, Stacey! And how cool that your grandfather helped make some of these gorgeous copper pieces. I’m sure you’ll treasure your collection for many years to come! 🙂

  4. Par says:

    Hello – I have a CC frying pan I bought in the 80’s. back then there were parties much like the pampered chef and I think there was some cooking involved. Anyway…. just wanted to post this – I still really enjoy my frying pan – alittle hard to clean but still going very strong.

    1. Nikki says:

      How fun to hear you’re still enjoying your CCG frying pan! I would LOVE to travel back in time and attend one of the parties – sounds like so much fun! Thanks for chiming in! 🙂

    2. Evee says:

      Copper is cleaned best by ketchup. I know it sounds silly but I do it with my copper bottom Revere ware pans. Spread a thin layer let it sit 15 minutes or so and TaDa!!!

  5. Kathleen Copson says:

    When I was in high school , in the early 60s,I was invited to a Coppercraft Guild party…and was immediately hooked..and began hosting party’s to earn the pieces I wanted for my ‘hope chest’, My grandmother had always loved copper, and she taught me to appreciate it..she also bought something at each of the parties I hosted
    I’m almost 70 now..and I inherited all of the pieces she got, and the pieces my mother got…so I have a pretty good collection ..and I think often back on those parties and remember how much fun they were. At the end of each party, the demonstrator would display all the pieces,light the candles, and turn out the lights.. it seemed magical, the reflections in the copper, then she would include a few of my mother’s Stirling silver pieces, to show how they complimented one another. I also remember her saying,”One day, these will be considered antiques , and be quite valuable…and today I googled it and found this site,
    Time flies.. and she was right.

    1. Nikki says:

      What beautiful memories, Kathleen! I especially loved your description of that magical, candlelit moment at the end of the party! Sounds like your grandmother had great taste in home decor, and was even clever enough to know those copper beauties would be worth something someday! Thank you SO much for sharing your memories – hearing stories like yours is my favorite part of being a vintage enthusiast.

    2. Lena says:

      Thank you for sharing these memories, Kathleen! It does sound magical, with the glimmering copper and candles. I just bought a hanging planter & a standing planter on Etsy yesterday! I rarely get obsessed with things, but I was so enchanted by how beautiful they look. With your memories, this purchase feels even more special. I’m in my 30s, and I bet years will go by and I will still remember your story 🙂

  6. MaryAnne Greer says:

    I have the little pot that you hang. Looks tarnished in spots any idea on how to clean? I went to a few of those parties with my mom Also loved going because the food was good!

    1. Nikki says:

      Hi MaryAnne – I just love the little hanging pots, too! I’ve had really good luck with Barkeeper’s Friend – it’s a powdery cleaning product that you can usually find at your local grocery store. Just wipe some on with a wet paper towel, and it really helps even out the color of the surface. Good luck!

      1. Evee says:

        Ketchup!!!! Please it’s so much better for you and your copper!!! Thin layer let sit 15 minutes wipe/rinse off & its like magic!!

        1. MO says:

          I have a dip dish and the copper base had a drip of “onion dip” on it, by the end of the party I discovered that the copper was stained, will ketchup bring it back to life… I had washed it immediately after finding the spill, didn’t scrub it, just washed it???

    2. Evee says:

      Ketchup!!!! Please it’s so much better for you and your copper!!! Thin layer let sit 15 minutes wipe/rinse off & its like magic!!

  7. Melissa says:

    Were there certain pieces that went into each case?

    1. Nikki says:

      Good question! I’m not sure, actually… I think each case just had a sampling of difference pieces for customers to check out and then place their order. I wasn’t born yet when these parties were popular (darn it!), so I never made it to one – would love to get all of the details from someone who sold or attended parties!

      1. Mary says:

        I sold Coppercraft Guild. I still have the big suitcase and all of my copper.It is filled with my son’s baseball card collections. I display the copper in my China Hutch.. I would give little miniature pieces to the guests. was and is beautiful. I lost the top to my tea kettle when I moved. Looking to find another one and found your blog. I displayed my miniature pieces in a shadow box in my kitchen. It is a mystery to me that they would disappear one at a time. The last little bowl disappeared a few weeks ago though I did not notice it until last week. I told my husband just last night about the missing pieces. I just can not figure it out. Has someone been coming in my house through a back door that my husband does not lock (but does now) when he is leaves to play golf while I am at work….or is it someone who comes to my house on a regular basis.????. I am totally befuddled. I can only think of one person who I have let in my house to do some work. I am not angry as I figure if someone needs to steal the little miniatures……….then…….I hope they enjoy them as much as I did . If they decide to steal again we now have cameras. I would have given the pieces to them if they had just asked.
        . I loved selling the copper…..It is my favorite decor and we have in the past drank from the drinking pieces..but it tasted not as good as when you put in a regular glass so I just display them now. My husband told me the other night as we were washing all of the copper that his favorite pieces are the two hurricane lamps…… I am hoping that my daughter will love the copper as much as I do. She may want me to sell it all…….if that is the case…..I will either give it to a niece or just sell it….. I am on my way to look again for a top for my Coppercraft Guild tea kettle..It was one of my favorites..

        1. Audrey Bonnell says:

          Mary I also sold Copper Craft Guild i love either making Cherries Jubilee Tried once to light the brandy in the cup of the candle snuffer and when it lit I jumped and the lighted brandy when spilling on my table cloth….it was an interesting end to that show. Loved to do the meatballs too. Glad I found this page and wish I still had all my pieces but sadly they were lost in a move. Enjoy you pieces and glad that they are still wonderfully bright. One more thing to add….I had over time 3 tea pots…..all 3 were sadly used on a electric stove and left alone and when I went back the spout was laying on the stove It was dry and hot and melted where it was joined to the pot. It would have been nice to have the steam whistle to let you know.

      2. Carol Mandela says:

        I attended and hosted a party and have quite a few pieces. I am downsizing and would love to sell some of them. Can you tell me where I should list them?

  8. Kristina says:

    I’ve inherited some molds… can I use them in cooking? I’m afraid of copper poisoning.. they don’t look lined…

    1. Nikki says:

      Good question, Kristina! I’m not an expert when it comes to Coppercraft Guild OR copper poisoning, but if I had to guess, I would say there’s about a 99% chance that they’re safe to use. Copper items made to be used with food are typically sealed or finished with a protective coating to keep your food out of direct contact with the copper, and it’s my understanding that Coppercraft Guild did indeed use such a coating. The trick is to keep an eye out for discoloration, rusting, or verdigris – the presence of any of those could be an indication that the coating is beginning to break down. Hope that helps!

  9. Jonathan says:

    Thanks for taking the trouble to write and publish this page! I just came across a lovely CG item and wanted to find out more about it (like you the quality combined with the word “Guild” caught my interest), so I googled it and found your page! A great 101 – thanks!

  10. Mary says:

    Notifications checked. Forgot to check them in my first reply.

  11. Ruthie Kolb says:

    My mother was a reginal manager for this company for many years when I was a teenager. When she passed away in 1991 I kept many of the original Coppercraft Guild catalogs, for nostalgic reasons.
    Would you like to have them?
    I can probably answer some of your questions.
    We, as a family, also visited the company in Massachusetts when I was 16.

  12. Beverley says:

    I sent my granddaughter a carafe that I purchased in the early sixtys. It was copper and brass.
    Unfortunately the glass pot was broke in transit.
    Do know of anyone that can make or have a replacement for just the glass pot

  13. Dixie Lee says:

    Oh yes! We are given a certain specific pieces in our dealer kits. My cousins husband even Syl remembers some prices. Ha!! I found an original catalogue in my memoirs but the price list was always on a separate piece of paper. I do recall that the little ball shaped cup was called a Roly poly and was considered the first quintessential piece for new collectors and was always in the new kids. Most dealers picked up n new items constantly to add to their kits. I had two suitcases fill where each piece is wrapped in heavy green felt bags. BTW it was recommended to remove the finish for use with hot food.

    1. j.olson says:

      Please – how does one remove the finish – appeared to be an enamel of some sort. We have several examples of Coppercraft bowls with partially worn finish – would like to remove it all and then polish the copper for display. Looks pretty ratty with only some of the finish worn off.

  14. Pamela A Robbins says:

    1973? I was married by then. My Mom sold this product in the 1960’s. My brother graduated high school in 1961 and he actually did some of her parties before that, and they loved him! I would recheck that date if I were you. Coppercraft Guild had a split off later…Princess House. Maybe that was 1973, although I think it was sooner. I can still remember her speech. “Good evening ladies and welcome to my Coppercraft Guild party. I would like to thank mt hostess, (name) for inviting me here tonight…. They called my Mom the “copper lady”, both for the color of her hair and the copper Chevy Impala she drove!

  15. Nanci says:

    I too was a sales counselor for CCG. However your information on when it closed is incorrect. It didn’t close until the early 19080’s…1983 I think. I got quite good at sales and had just held a huge party when I was called by my manager that a huge loan was called in and they went belly up. All property was seized and we couldn’t get product to fill the orders or even get our customer’s money back. It was awful!!!! I had two suitcases full of copper I would tote to the parties. I still have a lot of Roly Poly cups, a punch bowl, revere bowl, coffee pot, colander, measuring cups, and other items. I’m selling my two huge trays today as they e been in the attic for years. They still look gorgeous!

  16. Marcia Sorell says:

    Hi Nikki, thank you for your wonderful post about Coppercraft. Along with my mother’s district manager suitcases of Copper craft are also several smaller cases of Copper craft jewelry. What do you or your followers know about it?

  17. Joan Batista says:


  18. David D says:

    I recently found a cute little copper piece at a thrift store that I thought to be interesting. I believe it is a table crumb catch. As the kind used by wait staff and buttlers to clean messes created by guests at a dining table. I’m not sure if a small wisk like broom would have also originally been included. It did not have one with it when I purchased it. As a side note, Tandy Corp also was in the business of letter supplies. As a kid, back home in Seattle I used to purchase all my leather working supplies from a Tandy leather store. As did all of my boy scouts bretheren. They still supply leather goods online,

  19. Anna Kowalski says:

    How did they recommend you remove the coating? I have a fondue pot I want to use but it still has a coating. Thanks for any help you can give.

  20. Kay says:

    Thank you for the information, I was trying to find out how to date the pieces, you have shown a piece with the sticker on the base, but I have seen some with the CG etched into the copper, does this mean the etched pieces are later? they miss out the other information. I would be interested to know if thre are any other marks they used. Thanks.

  21. Jim says:

    I have a set of candleholders they hold two candles each I wonder what they’re worth and great shape almost perfect

  22. Bill says:

    Acetone , nail polish remover should remove the coating. Then clean with bar keepers friend.

  23. Connie Chretien says:

    I have several copper craft pieces. Glass coffee carafe with stand and candle warmer, large water pitcher,large tea kettle, glass tea pot with stand and candle warmer, plant pots with chains and wall brackets, napkin rings none of which were ever used. I have pots and pans (never used) canister set, and other tea pots that are not copper craft pieces. I would like to know the value of these pieces as I am downsizing.

    1. VT gal says:

      We just picked up a CG copper picture entitled “Maple Sugar Time” depicting an old time scene of a rustic sugar shack at Goodwill for $4. Perfect decor for our Northern VT cabin. It’s charming, and thanks to your blog I now know something about the company!

  24. John says:

    I have the teapot given to me by a friend. It is easy to see that the top is copper clad over an aluminum interior, but I am not sure about the pot. It is much heavier and covered with water residue. It has a powdery look. Is the pot itself 100% copper, and is it safe to brew tea or coffee in it? Thanks, John

  25. AJ says:

    I love that you have a time machine bucket list because I totally do too! And people look at me like I’m crazy when I say I want to go back in time just to shop!

  26. Judy J says:

    I cleaned out a cabinet and “discovered ” my copper pieces! I was so excited…had forgotten how pretty they were even though a bit tarnished after 50+ years. The warm glow is so peaceful. I couldn’t afford much back then so I had a few parties to get some pieces…but my favorite is the large engraved tray with a rim….a magnificent piece!
    I was heading for the scrap yard until I found this blog…now they get barkeepers and used!
    Thanks for all the information.

  27. Laura says:

    Goodness this brings back so many memories. Our home was stocked with all copper craft and i do recall those blue huge suitcases. The pieces were packed in green felt bags. My mother was top salesperson in Canada and i recall the mink coats, trips and tierras she received. I really didn’t like copper very much because our house was packed with it , but these days my grown kids are requesting it. Wish i had all that copper of moms – i do recall it had names, years, etc engraved on them. Funny how memories come back.

  28. Matthew T Wolfe says:

    What is the best way to clean it and make it shine again. I have two small… cups? Not sure what they are actually. Copper outside and maybe tin inside. Parents got them as a wedding gift, I took them as decor for my mid century modern decor. Has the CC STICKER on the bottom. My mom said her girlfriend from work was a CC consultant and probably just took the samples and gave them as a gift, but she liked them. We were cleaning the basement during isolation and sure enough there they were.

  29. Darren says:

    I have an unused copy of the Coppercraft Guild of Canada Guide To Selling For Successful Counselors Special 10th Anniversary Edition March 1981. Anyone interested ? Email me at I’d like to see it go to an appreciating cause.

  30. Jonathon says:

    Hello, I have a picture of an old dirt road with trees lining the road that has copper bits within the picture from what I believe was from coppercraft guild. The picture was my grandmas. I can always send a picture of it.

  31. Raymond paul mckinney says:

    I have the fondue fountain and 6 cups from the guild but can’t find anyone to buy it .

  32. Kat says:

    I so enjoyed reading your article and all the comments made by your readers. I sold Coppercraft in 1978 and loved every piece that crossed my hand. The parties were so much fun and I had loads of them! I loved making the piece de resistance…Cherries Jubliee, at the end of each party. The guests loved the “ceremony” and the cherries were served warmed over vanilla ice cream or angel food cake. I wish I”d been able to keep most of the pieces, but circumstances didn’t permit that. Today, I have a couple of the smaller pieces including some roly poly cups. Thank you for bringing back the memories.

  33. Nicole says:

    Thanks so much for the history on the Coppercraft Guild – I never would have guessed! I have a mint condition CG version of The Last Supper which belonged to my grandmother. Ordinarily it would not be my style but I took it for sentimental reasons. It actually looks amazing in my dining room on a backdrop of tangerine paint above dark wood wainscotting and is such a nice reminder of my wonderful grandparents. Definitely interested in when it was produced; I suspect the 1960s.

  34. Connie says:

    I sold Coppercraft in the early 70’s and have 3 suitcases full. As I get older I would like to sell it all so if anyone is interested Inhave lots. Mainly the copper,not much guild wood anymore. Would like to sell it as 1 bunch. 🇨🇦

  35. Peter Wolman says:

    We recently purchased a pair of Coppercraft Guild candlesticks via Etsy. As you note they have a “sealant” that protects a level of polish. We are looking for a safe way to remove the sealant and allow us to polish them in line with how we maintain our copper cookware. (We have been very happy with Wright’s Copper Polish Cream.). Many thanks!

  36. leon ahlers says:

    Nikki, my mom was a Coppercraft rep back in the late 1950’s, thus I have five sample cases full of display items which have remained unopened for the last sixty years. Any interest?

  37. Lynn Pinto says:

    Hi, I appreciate this info! I found a COPPERCRAFT GUILD item a few years back and I’ve yet to see anything like it!

    It’s an min-century award (with a copper acorn frame) from the CCG convention in Mexico City & Acapulco in 1974. I’d be happy to send you a photo of you’d like, just let me know how. The graphics are so vintage cool!

    All the best,

  38. Angela Bibbs says:

    My mother sold Coppercraft Guild in the 1960’s, she would work sometimes 7 days a week, throwing up to 3+ shows a day. She won so many gifts, prizes, cruises, trips, and was a top salesperson in the West Coast. She was gifted with a brand new Pontiac vehicle not once, but twice. This company had weekly news articles showcasing everything Coppercraft (wish I’d kept some). My mother would do and do parties in areas most wouldn’t dare go to…like Compton, Ca and other predominantly underprivileged and underclass areas. This is why she was a top salesperson. She loved her work, she loved Coppercraft, she was happy while she worked there. She had so many hostesses under her, always gifting them. I smile these days as I remember going with her at times to these shows, and looking at pieces I still have to this day.

  39. Eileen Prisco says:

    I sold Coppercraft at home demonstrations in 1975. I started this as a second job while saving money for my first home. My gig was preparing cherries jubilee for the guests and flaming it at the end. I used Comstock canned cherry pie filling and the hostess provided the vanilla ice cream. I still have a casserole pot and stand that looks brand new.

  40. Jo says:

    I sold Copper Guild in 1973, and had the suitcase. I have them proudly displayed in my home now. I didn’t know they quit it. I have been looking for them to try and sell, but don’t guess that’ll work out!

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