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space Otto Heintz was born into a family of manufacturing jewelers established in 1875 in Buffalo , NY . By about 1902 he had purchased a small company, renamed it the Art Crafts Shop, and began design and manufacture of copper items with colored enamel decoration. He was granted three patents. By 1906 he changed the name to Heintz Art Metal Shop, and shifted to bronze as the base material and sterling silver as ornamentation. The Art Crafts Shop hammered “look” was replaced by a series of machine-shaped bodies with sophisticated patinas. The definitive patent for applying sterling silver to bronze without solder was granted August 27, 1912 .

Heintz’ line consisted of vases and bowls, candlesticks, smoking accessories, trophies, lamps, desk accessories, picture frames, bookends and jewelry. From a circa 1916 trade catalog: “Heintz wares have won an enviable reputation among buyers of art goods, because of originality and beauty of design, and unusual quality of attractiveness. The articles are of bronze, and are decorated with sterling silver designs, permanently applied by our patented process. Beautiful colored finishes have been produced after much thought and experiment......
Otto Heintz
acidetched1   verde1   royal1   twotone1
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Brown Patina  

Verde Patina


Royal Patina


Sultan Patina

gold1   brown1   frenchgrey1    
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Gold Dore'  

Acid-Etched Silver


French Grey Silver

space These factory finishes, referred to as patinas, are unique and noteworthy. The brown and verde (green) exhibit variegated tones, while the Royal is a rich red with a hint of iridescence. A “two-tone” finish exhibits an aura of dark oxidation around the overlay while the rest of the body has a lighter ground color. Heintz also employed plated finishes: a hand-stippled French grey silver, Acid etched silver with black “highlights” and Gold dore’. Heintz items were a popular wedding gift and were sold through “better” gift and artware stores. New specimens continue to appear for collectors.

Otto Heintz died suddenly on January 10, 1918. Sales manager Fred Smith and some major craftsmen defected and began to compete with their old employer under the name Smith Metal Arts Co., incorporated April 24, 1919. The Heintz Art Metal Shop continued for another 12 years until finally succumbing to the Great Depression on February 11, 1930.

A good reference:
“The Heintz Connection”, Michael James, Arts & Crafts Quarterly, Vol. VI, No. 1, Spring 1993, pp. 12-20
* Back issues of Style: 1900, Volume 11, No. 2, “The Metal Issue” are still available. It is the best reference on all Arts & Crafts period “brown metal”.


Style 1900 Magazine


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