What Is Armetale?

By Karen Ellis ; Updated April 12, 2017
What Is Armetale?

Armetale is a trade name for a mixture of aluminum-based alloys formed into serving items. It is sometimes mistaken for pewter as it has a similar appearance. Armetale can be found in such things as mugs, coasters, platters or plates. This company also created and sold an Armetale Christmas tree ornament each year, between 1978 and 1989. The earlier produced items can be found in antique stores, junk shops, garage sales, flea markets or online. eBay has several offerings. They also can be purchased new in many locations.

History

The Wilton family company is the producer of Armetale. The company began in approximately 1893. Throughout the years Wilton has closed areas of their business and opened others, many times renaming and moving the company's location. At the time they began producing Armetale, in 1963, they were known as the Wilton Brass Company. Currently they have changed their name to Wilton Armetale. Armetale items are presently produced for use and/or collections.

Authenticity

There are many copycat manufacturers of substances like Armetale. However, Wilton has the patent on this product. To be sure you have a true Armetale piece, look for the logo, RWP, and the words "THE WILTON CO". This is stamped into the metal but does not always have the same appearance, as it has been changed over the years.

Patterns

Wilton Armetale has been and is produced in many patterns. Acanthus is one of the more popular patterns, inspired by the Acanthus plant that is grown in the Mediterranean region. It is considered a "classic" design. Burst is a more contemporary design with lined burst-like engravings on the outer edges of a plain center. Some of the other Armetale designs include Boston, Barb Wire, Cabin Home, Brocade, Bamboo, Cherry Blossom, Country French, Diamond Tread, Fleur De Lis and Houndstooth.

Collections

Wilton Armetale can also be described by collections. As a hobby or investment, individuals may look to complete a collection. For example, the Wine Collection is comprised of many different patterns, all around a wine theme. Other collections include Wilton Home Collection, Classic Collection, Gourmet Grillware and Tablo.

Gifts

Since its inception, Wilton Armetale has offered a less-expensive alternative to gifting silver, without giving up heirloom quality. It still makes the grand impression of silver, but is more user-friendly, inspiring newlyweds and others to use Armetale on an everyday basis. It requires hand washing and drying only. The William and Mary collection is perfect for the traditional personality, while Reggae is completely contemporary with a swirl and geometric pattern.

Resources

About the Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.