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What’s It Worth?: Coppercraft Guild copper, George Zee & Co. chest

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Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012 11:00 pm | Updated: 4:19 pm, Mon Jan 20, 2014.

My collection of copper was made by Coppercraft Guild of Taunton, Mass. My mother worked for them in the 1960s. Many of the pieces are made of mixed metals with brass handles and other parts made of brass, while the spoons and forks are made of silver with copper handles. Should I sell the items as scrap or collectibles? — R.Y.

Coppercraft Guild was a subsidiary of Tandy Corp., the family-owned leather company in Texas now named RadioShack. Tandy launched Coppercraft Guild in 1973. It sold solid copper decorative items and various housewares through direct marketing. The products were of good quality, but the company was shut down in 1978.

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Coppercraft Guild copper items are popular collectibles and are regularly traded on eBay. Look for these items to slowly gain value during the next few years, so hang on to them.

My teak chest is carved on the front, sides and top. It has a metal tag reading “George Zee & Co., Kowloon, Hong Kong, Made in China.” What can you tell me about it, and what is its value? — J.J.

George Zee was a cabinetmaker who worked in Hong Kong from the early 1960s through the early 1990s. Zee’s small-scale products are easily identified by his signature red-stained teak, detailed deep carving and metal tag.

Most pieces found in America are small carved chests or small jewelry boxes. Early items are marked “Made in Hong Kong,” and newer things are marked “Made in China.” Many of the early pieces found in the States were brought back by service men and women returning from Vietnam.

This large late George Zee & Co. chest is worth about $250.

Email questions to home@timesdispatch.com with a jpg digital image, or send a complete description with a clear photograph (no plain-paper scans) to Jay Moore, Flair Department, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 300 E. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23219. The large volume of mail may mean a delay in publishing answers.

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