I love writing about the history of companies that interest me.
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. After WW II, he 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.
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 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 dyes. 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.
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.
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
Recent Selling Prices of Gregorian Copper Pieces
- 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.
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!
Sold on 11/27/12 for $13.50.
Neat old cup with some general wear as shown including a couple of dings/small dents.
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.
Sold on 11/16/12 for $11.48.
This beautiful Gregorian bowl is 9" in diameter, 2-Â½" 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.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Do You Own Any Gregorian Copper Pieces? - Let us know which ones you'd like to acquire
Shellykevin on July 14, 2020:
I purchased a small coal skittle ( with handle). I believe that is what it is. It only has a signature and then 615 with a circled R on the bottom. I only paid $2 for it and just curious what it actually is and if it an original since it didn’t have the stamp on it with the guy on the side with the name ? I would think these pieces would have more value than what I am seeing on eBay. Just curious. Thank you
Jane on July 08, 2020:
My son just brought a gift he purchased for me. A beautiful tray with raised fruit in the center and a fluted edge. It has the Gregorian sticker on the back and designed to be hung. Breathtakingly beautiful. Thank you for talented artisans and wonderful sons.
Ellen.Judy on June 07, 2020:
386 Saint Andrews Cir
Susan Keil on April 04, 2020:
I have a engraved 24" double roped tray. It does not have a number under the signature. I have looked online and have not come across at tray that is that large or double roped accent outer edges. I have not found a match like mine. It appears to be authentic. Do you have knowledge of Gregoria Copper trays that size?
Kay Ekwall on April 02, 2020:
I have a beautiful piece, in mint condition, with the engraved script mark which I believe my parents purchased on one of their trips to New Mexico. It is a leaf base as in the look of some of the candy dishes, but has a curved piece on the front, like a tube that one could put flowers into it, with water or not. It hangs on a wall. I am giving it to my niece as a family keepsake. I am an artists/crafts person myself, and I know how much work, and time, efforts, and loving craftsmanship goes into each piece of them and so shocked that they are not valued as much as they should be. They are true works of art, many to be considered antiques these days and just the copper in them is worth more then the prices people are asking for them. Just a big shout out to the founders, designers, people who worked there and made them and contributed to a big of American history. Thank you. And to the family members on down, their legacy is something to be so proud of with their family.
Kelly Wayne Walker on February 29, 2020:
I am the grandson of or Gregory and I can answer any questions anyone has ...
email@example.com on February 27, 2020:
I have a copper urn with round handles. it's numbered 609. I wonder the value.
Linda Lerum Stout on September 05, 2019:
I used to work at Gregorian Copper in San Clemente. Great memories, nice family! I worked in the office with Barbara, many, many years ago!
Rocklyn on August 08, 2019:
I have the 2 leaf serving dish. But i can' se a number
Sandra27 on August 07, 2019:
I have a huge 3 foot round copper tray that hangs above my fireplace. It had the Gregorian seal on it, but it has come off. I'd like to have an idea of it's value.
Anita on July 16, 2019:
These are my Grandfather, Hugo Gregori's brothers. They all lived in Youngstown and two brothers moved to CA and Hugo moved to Florida.
I am fortunate to have quite a few pieces and a huge 3 foot round copper tray that hangs above my fireplace. It was given to me by Fred Gregori.
Becky on June 28, 2019:
I have a box of some kind you hang on the wall. Has two pine cones or leafs on the front. Says solid cooper printed on a round piece of paper on the back. Thought maybe a cigarette holder but not sure. Has a long hole on the side of box.
Mary Bradbury on February 14, 2019:
I have a tray with handles ,coffee pot,tea kettle and mug. Bought in 1975/76.
I had the tray cleaned recently
The seal was removed and though it is lovely in its way it is not as it was originally. What is the best way to clean the remains coffee pot, tea kettle and mug.
Franca Meoli on January 04, 2019:
I have a Gregorian wall mount candle holder
Ginger on January 04, 2019:
What is the value of piece #102
Jana Banana on November 18, 2017:
I just bought a watering can #97 at St Vinnys for $8
Shirley sellers on October 06, 2017:
I have a water pitcher 98 is the number engraved on the bottom
Rebecca on July 16, 2017:
I have all copper sale boat bookends # 217 what are they worth?
Marilyn D on June 22, 2017:
I have the exact wall plate or charger you have pictured above.
It is engraved -
Anyone know its value? Thank you.
Greg on April 29, 2017:
I have a 3andahalf by 8 in box with rope design on top
Glenda Miller on April 28, 2017:
I have a small copper sculpture of an old man mining gold with his pack donkey behind. I bought it back in the eighties in Butte at a store near a copper mine. I also purchased a small leaf dish. Do either of these items have any value as a collectible at this time?
Will jones on March 07, 2017:
I have a copper wall mounted lamps one of the glass that go on one of the lamps broke, how do I get another....
kathy w on November 25, 2016:
I have the copper watering can, but the inscription on the botton says only "gregorian 98" - not "gregorian copper". Is it true gregorian?
Stef on October 12, 2015:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
koolkat on May 02, 2015:
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
moon on January 25, 2015:
I found a jewelry box in great shape w number 514 on bottom how much is that worth u think
Linda Hoiseth on October 06, 2014:
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-...
Teresa Bengtston on September 15, 2014:
I have a bowl engraved writing number 301 how can l find out it's value
anonymous on September 14, 2013:
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..
anonymous on August 28, 2013:
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 on July 25, 2013:
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 on June 30, 2013:
@anonymous: Do you still have the Gregorian copper cup set? I would be interested in buying them. My e mail is email@example.com
anonymous on June 07, 2013:
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 on May 21, 2013:
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 on May 01, 2013:
I recently acquired a small spoon holder. I got it to sit next to othe copper teapot I keep on my stove :)
anonymous on April 11, 2013:
I have a lotus bowl #303 I received it as a wedding gift in 1958 can u tell me what it is worth
anonymous on March 20, 2013:
@anonymous: I'd be interested - do you have any photos?
anonymous on February 16, 2013:
I have 4 mug steins...will sell as a set cheap! Never out of the gift box!
anonymous on February 10, 2013:
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 on February 09, 2013:
Darla I have a cowboy hat that is stamped gregorian any idea what its worth???????
anonymous on January 10, 2013:
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 on December 28, 2012:
i have a hammerd copper tea kittle #95 (R) on wood handle engraved gregrion copper. eney one know what it is worth
anonymous on December 03, 2012:
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 on November 19, 2012:
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 on November 09, 2012:
I halve cigarette holder and four ash trays in one is it rare
anonymous on October 28, 2012:
I OWN A CANDLE HOLDER,THAT HOLDS 3 CANDLES,IS IT WORTH ANYTHING?
anonymous on October 16, 2012:
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 on October 06, 2012:
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 on September 24, 2012:
are any of them valuable
anonymous on September 23, 2012:
I have a #303 bowl. Can you give me information and a ballpark value?
anonymous on August 25, 2012:
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 on August 24, 2012:
I own many of my mothers pieces. I grew up in San Clemente and graduated with Shanna Gregori.
anonymous on August 15, 2012:
Flip candle holder with copper label. Have not seen any being sold looking for year made?
anonymous on August 11, 2012:
I have a handled basket #319
anonymous on July 30, 2012:
I have #328 a leaf bowl type of candy or trinket dish.
anonymous on July 08, 2012:
yes it looks like an ashtray hanor hammered then 55
anonymous on June 14, 2012:
Does anyone EVER get an answer to their question?
anonymous on June 14, 2012:
I have read the # of my piece and it is 124 can anyone let me know what it is appraised at?
anonymous on June 14, 2012:
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 on June 14, 2012:
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 on June 12, 2012:
I have the 317 bowl - it looks exactly like #313. Does anyone know what it is
anonymous on June 12, 2012:
I have 317 - wondering what it is worth.
anonymous on June 10, 2012:
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 on June 04, 2012:
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 on June 04, 2012:
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 on June 03, 2012:
I have 508
anonymous on May 29, 2012:
We have a #501 does any one know what that is worth?
anonymous on May 29, 2012:
We have a #501 does any one know what that is worth?
anonymous on April 13, 2012:
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 on April 12, 2012:
I FOUND A GREGRIAN PIECE TRY # 502
WHAT IS IT AND THE COST
anonymous on April 10, 2012:
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.
anonymous on March 22, 2012:
I have a hand hammered #404 " sugar bowl " ? good cond . and was wondering its value please .
anonymous on March 19, 2012:
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 on February 11, 2012:
gregorian coper 918E hand hammered
would like to know ils value thank you
anonymous on January 06, 2012:
I have several (resin)artificial blue candles with copper pieces in them, from Gregorian. I would like to obtain several more.
anonymous on December 15, 2011:
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 on November 12, 2011:
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 on October 27, 2011:
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 on October 06, 2011:
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 on October 04, 2011:
I HAVE TWO CANDLESTICK HOLDERS WITH FINGER RINGS.THEY ARE IN MINT CONDITION.
anonymous on September 14, 2011:
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
anonymous on August 23, 2011:
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 on July 30, 2011:
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 on July 16, 2011:
I have candles that match my gregorian candle holder. Can you please tell me what the value of the candles are.
SPPickers on May 24, 2011:
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 on January 11, 2011:
I have a Gregorian plate (15 inches in diameter) & matching candle holders. How can I find out their value?