Whenever I see those colored aluminum tumblers, I have to smile. It brings back fond memories of my dear sister. She would always serve beverages in those. She swore that they kept drinks colder. She was probably right about that but forgot to mention that metallic taste! Oh, well.
They used to be reasonably priced. Most aluminum was not expensive to begin with and they were not that desirable.That’s why a recent visit to an antique shop was a bit of a surprise. A set with a red pitcher and 6 glasses of varying colors was priced at $45.00. There was also a set of iced tea stirs, with the spoon at the end. Still in their original box, which always adds to the value, but with a tag that read $32, I was amazed.
Admittedly, there are some items that do have a lot of flair. Hand forged pieces such as those from the Wendell August Forge, Rodney Kent, Continental and Bueuilum have some pretty unique patterns and shapes. Those with glass inserts are still functional and would probably be fun to use on a casual buffet table. These bring back memories of the ‘all-important’ casserole dishes that were popular in the 1950s and 60s. Women were joining the workforce more regularly and they liked to have a quick meal for the hungry family.
I have seen hammered aluminum baskets, butter containers, serving dishes, salt and pepper shakers, platters, match safes, cigarette cases, napkin holders, canister sets and on and on. I once had an extremely large platter with unusual ‘sea-weed’ handles and a fish motif. Sold it at a flea market a few years back. Wonder what that would be worth today. I also had an aluminum bracelet, purchased at a thrift shop. I think I recall giving it to a curious granddaughter to play with. What was I thinking? This mirror will stay in my collection of silver mirrors, if only as an oddity.
I do have one rather unique item in my possession. I may just put it to good use one of these days. It is an aluminum belt! Very geometric in its design. With all of the attention in the fashion world in large, clunky, over-sized belts, this one may just fit right in.
Still a relatively inexpensive collectible and aluminum can be functional too. The ones that are ‘unsigned’ are more reasonable and unless you need pieces with overly ornate patterns, you can probably pick them up for under $10. They seem to have a long life, if you treat them well. Who knows, they may come back into style for the next generation. We understand they are still being made today!
If you’ve got a favorite aluminum collectible, we’d love to hear about it! And if you want to join others who collect, there are various hammered aluminum collectors clubs to check out!