Saturday, February 16, 2008
Arts & Crafts Movement Metal Work - Heintz
The silver-on-bronze work of Heintz Art Metal Works of the Arts & Crafts Movement are treasures that might find a place on your list of items to make note of. "Arts & Crafts" is a decorative arts design that emphasizes spare, clean lines and simplicity of design.
Heintz Art Metal Shop was founded in 1906 in New York by Otto Heintz. They discontinued their works in 1935 when a new name, Silvercrest, was taken. Heintz produced some of the best bronze ware that have ever been made in this country. Most people aren't aware of this company, but the ones that are aware, realize that there is a ready market for their better pieces.
The fantastic thing about Heintz was their ability to combine different metals, often making the body of a piece out of bronze, but enhancing it with silver. While today you will see an abundance of cheap copper or bronze items on the market, I think it is fair to say that Heintz items will bring a premium still today.
Once you begin to appreciate the items that they produced you will be able to envision one of their large vases sitting on your Stickley sideboard, or a candlestick of theirs in the middle of your Arts and Crafts table. In fact, some of the best desk sets that were ever made came from this factory. If you are seeing what I'm seeing, you will understand why the better pieces will fly off your shelves and into someone else's collection quickly.
Note that your search for and purchase of Heintz treasure comes with a warning. You never want to clean a piece of Heintz. By removing the patina, up to 75% of the value can be eliminated. When I find a piece, I'd rather let the new buyer clean it as they see fit. And if you find a piece of Heintz, and it has been cleaned, know that its value has been lowered. You don't want to be paying too much for a piece.
Heintz's better candlesticks in today's market might fetch up to $4000, and the same can be said about their lamps, which might bring a considerable amount more. Vases also are highly sought after, and it is unusual for one to be found under $200. From there, the ranges can go into the thousands.
I have had many pieces of Heintz, but most of the pieces have been in the $200 - $600 range. I have seen pieces that I would have given my eye teeth to own. Once you recognize their mark, you will never forget it. It will just become another little nugget of knowledge that gets planted in your brain, waiting there until you need it.
The best places to find Heintz is garage sales and flea markets. These venues don't seem to put as high a value on the Heintz as collectors do. There is money to be made with these wares, so keep a sharp eye out for them.
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