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Gregorian Copper: A History of the Company and a Look at the Bowls, Trays, Candle Holders, and Other Pieces They Make

Gregorian Copper - A Family Business

P. R. Gregori and his brother Fred started Gregori Copper in 1946 in Southern California. The newly formed Gregori Copper company began modestly in the garage of the Gregori brothers' parent's home in Capistrano Beach. In two short years, they were able to move into their permanent facility in San Clemente. Soon, Gregori Copper was shipping copper items all over the U.S. and to Latin America.

P. R. Gregori, the artist/founder of the company, was educated at the Butler Art Institute in Youngstown, Ohio, and after WW II received hands-on experience at Craftsman Studios in Laguna Beach, California, an artistic commune in the 1920s that evolved into a facility that produced a wealth of copper products in the Arts and Crafts style. This experience inspired Gregori and his brother Fred to start Gregori Copper.

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Gregorian Copper Mark

To be sure the copper piece you're looking at is a genuine item from the Gregorian factory, look for the copper foil label on the back. You'll also find pieces that are marked with an engraving of cursive handwriting script that says Gregorian Copper along with a number.

The number refers to the item itself, kind of like an old-fashioned bar code :-). It doesn't refer to the quantity of that particular piece that was made at the factory, like when art pieces are numbered. This number refers to the model number of the particular item.

The Engraved Script Mark

The Engraved Script Mark
The Engraved Script Mark
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The Gregorian Copper Manufacturing Process

While Fred Gregori handled sales, P.R. Gregori not only ran the manufacturing site but was also the artist behind the copperworks. He designed all of the copper products and even made his own tools and dies. Using large sheets of copper in various gauges, Gregori fashioned utilitarian but extremely beautiful items using hand tools and even a spinning lathe.

Each object was hand-beaten and finished with an acid bath. Gregori developed a special bluing process that gave each piece a depth of color and then he hand-rubbed them with steel wool, creating either a solid copper finish or a satin finish. To ensure that the copper would retain its color, it was lacquered with a gun sprayer and then baked for 40 minutes.

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The Gregorian Copper 313 Bowl

The Gregorian Copper 313 Bowl is one of the most famous pieces from the Gregorian factory. It measures approximately 6.5 inches wide by 2.5 inches tall. This bowl has a ruffled edge and a raised leaves and berries motif in the center of the interior. The hammered copper is beautiful and the pedestal foot gives it an elegant feel.

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What Happened to the Gregorian Copper Company?

At the height of Gregori Copper's business, it employed 25 people and garnered annual sales of half a million dollars. In 1968, the company was sold to Sunbell, and the copperworks was eventually moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and continued to produce beaten copper products well into the 80s.

P.R. Gregori and his wife moved to New Mexico, but soon returned to California where P.R. opened a dining establishment, Papa Pio's Italian Restaurant, in Dana Point. Sunbelt sold the company twenty years ago to a firm in Lemmon, South Dakota, that became Gregorian Inc.. This company now produces giftware, using various metals and resins, including delicate jewelry made with copper, but nothing like the classic Gregorian Copper pieces that the Gregori brothers made.

A Beautiful Gregori Copper Tray

A Beautiful Gregori Copper Tray
A Beautiful Gregori Copper Tray

Recent Selling Prices of Gregorian Copper Pieces

Basket

Sold on 11/28/12 for $9.99

Vintage Decorative Copper Basket Signed Gregorian

Very good condition and very attractive piece

Over 8" tall

10" long

and 8" wide

Ashtray

Sold on 11/28/12 for $14.88

Vintage collectible Gregorian Copper hand hammered #508 cigar ashtray. Good used age-appropriate condition with great patina. Inside bottom of ashtray shows wear and use. Measures 5 3/4 inches by 6 3/4 inches across the top.

Wall Plate or Charger

Sold on 11/28/12 for $6.99

This is for a 13 1/2" vintage solid hand hammered Gregorian Copper hanging wall plate / charger with rope edging. No markings on this one but I just sold another a week ago that was marked Engraved Gregorian Copper - Hand Hammered - on back. This plate is in pretty good condition with a few minor scratches and signs of wear. Has great patina!

Mug

Sold on 11/27/12 for $13.50

Neat old cup with some general wear as shown including a couple of dings/small dents.

Coffee Pot

Sold on 11/27/12 for $10.00

This 8" high solid copper coffee pot by Gregorian is 5 1/2" in diameter at the bottom and 3 1/2 " at top is over 35 years old. It is in very good condition but does exhibit a few age related tarnish spots in several locations that enhance its overall patina.

Bowl

Sold on 11/16/12 for $11.48

This beautiful Gregorian bowl is 9" in diameter, 2-½" tall and has crimped edges for extra strength. The Gregorian copper label is still affixed to the bottom. Gregorian used stick-on labels on most pieces (rather than embossing/etching) as labels did not show through to the front of single-ply pieces such as this bowl.

Do You Own Any Gregorian Copper Pieces? - Let us know which ones you'd like to acquire 66 comments

anonymous 5 years ago

I have a Gregorian plate (15 inches in diameter) & matching candle holders. How can I find out their value?

Thank you


SPPickers 5 years ago

I have a pair of Gregorian copper candle holders. They are to be hung on the wall. The back piece is 7 1/2 inches round in diameter with a swirled, hammered look which attaches to the base that holds tapered candles. Under the base is a scroll piece - 10 1/2 inches tall from end of scroll to top of the circle. It has the Gregorian made in USA copper sticker on the back. Do you have any idea what they might be worth?


anonymous 5 years ago

I have candles that match my gregorian candle holder. Can you please tell me what the value of the candles are.


anonymous 5 years ago

I own a gregorian #102. It's an ash catcher/ crumb catcher type item with an attachable lid that flips open when you press the edge of the lid near the handle with your thumb. The lid is sea-shell shaped with a wire design laid on top. It's a cool piece. Can you tell me what it is, when it was made, and what it is worth?


anonymous 5 years ago

I have a Gregorian Copper ashtray either number 506 or 516. If the middle number is a zero, then it has a slash through it. On the bottom, it says, "Gregorian Copper 506 hand hammered" in three lines of script. Does anybody know when it was made and an approximate worth ?


anonymous 5 years ago

I own a gregorian xopper dish of some sort. It's in the shape of a leaf. it has 30D etched on back all is written in cursive. I was wondering how much it might be worth. gskanga@netzero.net


anonymous 5 years ago

I HAVE TWO CANDLESTICK HOLDERS WITH FINGER RINGS.THEY ARE IN MINT CONDITION.


anonymous 5 years ago

I have a sugar and creamer set that is etched on the bottom in cursive "Gregorian Copper" and one has the #81 and the other one has #88.


anonymous 5 years ago

I have quite a few pieces that my mom bought when we lived in San Clemente. She knew both PR and Fred quite well. I am very proud to say that I not only own their works, I knew them during my first 17 years of life...


anonymous 5 years ago

My husband worked for Gregorian Brothers Copperworks in San Clemente in the 50's and 60's and as such we acquired aroung 60 pieces or so. Have a couple of duplicates but that's all. Would like to know if there is a cataloge of product avalilable to see what the company originally made. I believe that the engraved pieces were some of the firstpieces made and that there are least two different adhesive labels that have been used since that time. I think that they play a part in the companys movement from one location to another.


anonymous 4 years ago

i have inherited two sets of candle holders, one set comes with the hand-hold and snuffer; also have a three tray dish/trivet, and a small dish/trivet, both in a large bowl-type leaf pattern. any idea what they are worth? they are all inscribed and numbered, and in excellent condition.


anonymous 4 years ago

I have several (resin)artificial blue candles with copper pieces in them, from Gregorian. I would like to obtain several more.


anonymous 4 years ago

gregorian coper 918E hand hammered

would like to know ils value thank you


anonymous 4 years ago

i have 4 copper mugs that have cursive that have grgorian copper #94 on the bottom of all of them would like to know how old whenwere and value of them?


anonymous 4 years ago

I have a hand hammered #404 " sugar bowl " ? good cond . and was wondering its value please .


anonymous 4 years ago

I have two Gregorian copper pieces thata are numbered 803. They are copper leaves folded with vines on the bottom. Any help with these would be appreciated.

Thanks


anonymous 4 years ago

I FOUND A GREGRIAN PIECE TRY # 502

WHAT IS IT AND THE COST


anonymous 4 years ago

i think i own a piece of gregorian copper #324 not sure how much it is worth but would like to sell if worth while.


anonymous 4 years ago

We have a #501 does any one know what that is worth?


anonymous 4 years ago

We have a #501 does any one know what that is worth?


anonymous 4 years ago

I have 508


anonymous 4 years ago

Yes - Curious @ # 602 - Engraved w/words" hand hammered" and then Possibly a name? appears to start w/letter "P" - never found out what is says, but it's my favorite piece.


anonymous 4 years ago

Have 4 pieces that have discolored - is there any way to clean that out of the copper? Have tried most copper cleaners - spots are still there - still pretty but not as nice - is this something that comes w/age or w/someone not taken care of the copper? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks


anonymous 4 years ago

I just purchased a small watering can that holds about a pint of liquid. It is pounded on the outside with a fancy spout and handle. I was wondering if anyone could tell me when it was made and the approximate value.


anonymous 4 years ago

I have 317 - wondering what it is worth.


anonymous 4 years ago

I have the 317 bowl - it looks exactly like #313. Does anyone know what it is

worth?


anonymous 4 years ago

I have a piece of Gregorian copper that reminds me of a smaall pie tin with a joined lid it has a unique handle and top piece that are like candy canes. The inside has slots in it and at one time I thought it was an ashtray. Can anyone give me more info


anonymous 4 years ago

Hello I have read the number of my piece and it is 124 and I plan to keep it but would like it appraised


anonymous 4 years ago

I have read the # of my piece and it is 124 can anyone let me know what it is appraised at?


anonymous 4 years ago

Does anyone EVER get an answer to their question?


anonymous 4 years ago

yes it looks like an ashtray hanor hammered then 55


anonymous 4 years ago

I have #328 a leaf bowl type of candy or trinket dish.


anonymous 4 years ago

I have a handled basket #319


anonymous 4 years ago

Flip candle holder with copper label. Have not seen any being sold looking for year made?


anonymous 4 years ago

I own many of my mothers pieces. I grew up in San Clemente and graduated with Shanna Gregori.


anonymous 4 years ago

Cleaning Moms garage i found a 12" piece could have been a bread boat...size of an old shape loaf of bread. Back is "hand signed" then (next line) 306 (next line-handwritten vs. stamped) "Hand made"...does anyone have such a piece and what is really for???


anonymous 4 years ago

I have a #303 bowl. Can you give me information and a ballpark value?

Jan Blanc

mblanc@ma.rr.com


anonymous 4 years ago

are any of them valuable


anonymous 4 years ago

we just purchased a Gregorian "leaf" copper piece (perhaps it is a candy dish or nut tray?) at a garage sale, but I haven't seen one like it on ebay. Any idea of possible value? Any input is appreciated. Thanks so much!


anonymous 4 years ago

i have piece no 905, 3, 803-2 pieces,409 2 pieces,and no 822 want to sell them all original pieces from the 50s


anonymous 4 years ago

I OWN A CANDLE HOLDER,THAT HOLDS 3 CANDLES,IS IT WORTH ANYTHING?


anonymous 4 years ago

I halve cigarette holder and four ash trays in one is it rare


anonymous 4 years ago

I have many pieces of Gregorian

copper purchased between 1971 and 1978. One is a complete coffee pot, creamer, sugar (with covers) excellent condition with serving tray, teapot, two 6inch plates, one larger serving platter decorative wall hangings etc.


anonymous 4 years ago

I have a Gregorian copper tea kettle # 95 on the bottom purchased in Michigan July 22,1968 ,does it have any value???? Thank you


anonymous 3 years ago

i have a hammerd copper tea kittle #95 (R) on wood handle engraved gregrion copper. eney one know what it is worth


anonymous 3 years ago

Aunt Kimmie has a gorgeous teapot that has the cursive signature and #01 above the R...Flawless piece...Anyone know what it is worth? It is 10" tall from bottom to top of lid. It has the slender handle on the side also.


anonymous 3 years ago

Darla I have a cowboy hat that is stamped gregorian any idea what its worth???????


anonymous 3 years ago

Gerry,West Bend,WI I have an Item #104 that looks like a small 5" fry pan with the cursive signature and probably was designed to hold a candle. Wonder if anyone knows more about this item and its worth.


anonymous 3 years ago

I have 4 mug steins...will sell as a set cheap! Never out of the gift box!


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'd be interested - do you have any photos?


anonymous 3 years ago

I have a lotus bowl #303 I received it as a wedding gift in 1958 can u tell me what it is worth


anonymous 3 years ago

I recently acquired a small spoon holder. I got it to sit next to othe copper teapot I keep on my stove :)


anonymous 3 years ago

I have a bowl with cursive writing and number 314 on bottom. Received as wedding gift in 1958. Has been packed away for many years.


anonymous 3 years ago

I have a pice that has the gregorian made in USA label. It look like a small pitcher. How can I find out if it is a real pice?


anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: Do you still have the Gregorian copper cup set? I would be interested in buying them. My e mail is ferwerdasr45@hotmail.com

Thanks!


anonymous 3 years ago

I have An oblong Gregorian bowl made in the late 40's or early 50's. It had the copper label but not a number or an etched name. Do you have any information on a style like this?


anonymous 3 years ago

I have a watering pitcher with a long thin spout for watering house plants has what looks to be a number 90 or 99 on the bottom definitely only 2 digets. this was my grandmothers i remember her using it back in the 60's. any more info / history you can give me on this?


anonymous 3 years ago

Tiim

My Dad and uncle were one of the first employees that work at Gregorian copper.They were responable for a lot of the designs of the different pieces.Most of the pieces I have were custom made and one of a kind..


Teresa Bengtston 2 years ago

I have a bowl engraved writing number 301 how can l find out it's value


Linda Hoiseth 2 years ago

Just found this on top of my kitchen cabinets yesterday. We bought the house last year and I never looked, it was in bad shape but I used Barkeepers friend and scrubbed it up, look much better. https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-...


moon 22 months ago

I found a jewelry box in great shape w number 514 on bottom how much is that worth u think


koolkat 19 months ago

I just found a small round covered piece The lid is hinged on the handle I first thought of a crumb catcher or silent butler. It has the script engraving identifying it as Gregorian Copper It has the number 101 and below the number "hhand hammered" is written in the same script as the top identification Is anyone familiar with this item? As far as a value,:I paid 3 dollars, so I suppose that's what its worth


Stef 14 months ago

Does anyone know how to find a date for any Gregorian pieces?

I would love to get some info on a piece I purchased. My email is gigi1673@gmail.com


Ginny Hamm 3 weeks ago

I have a large 3 foot wide Gregorian Copper tray boughten in the 70's that has hung on my wall and now my daughters. Is there anyway to find out how much this tray is worth? mobilemama1@charter.net I was told only 5 were ever made.


kathy w 2 weeks ago

I have the copper watering can, but the inscription on the botton says only "gregorian 98" - not "gregorian copper". Is it true gregorian?


arnold pastymaker 7 days ago

Me Like Gregorio Cooper ,me have leaf.

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