Roycrofter Walter U. Jennings Gallery

This gallery highlights rare works by Roycroft coppersmith Walter U. Jennings, and combines all the WJ pieces listed elsewhere on this site along with items from a single collection shown here for the first time. WJ was perhaps the most talented "chaser" (hand tooler) at Roycroft, and in addition to Roycroft items that sometimes bear his mark (one or two dots in the orb), he also made things at home during his Roycroft and Tookay Shop days and in the years following the close of these shops. WJ items tend to be of high quality, hard to find, and very desirable to collectors today.


Ultra rare one-of-a-kind cylinder form vase by Roycroft craftsman Walter Jennings. This vase is signed with Jennings' personal mark, not the Roycroft orb and cross, but a circle with three slashes. The signature indicates it was probably made at home. Jennings' records show that this vase was made in November 1916, then exhibited by him in Boston in 1917 and Philly in 1918. A limited number of uniquely signed Jennings vases are known to exist, and they are all slightly different. About 7 inches high but only 1.75 inches wide. Five nicely carved diamond flower designs around the top. Extremely heavy for its size. Original caramel brown finish in excellent condition.

Ultra rare and probably one-of-a-kind cylinder form vase by Roycroft craftsman Walter Jennings. Also signed with the circle with three slashes. This vase measures about 10 inches tall, with alternating rectangular smooth and stippled panels topped by quatrefoils. The owner indicates it was given as a wedding gift in East Aurora in 1920. It was probably sold without much of a finish, since Jennings was known to do that with these.

Click here for a nice big pic.

Ultra rare and probably one-of-a-kind cylinder form vase by Roycroft craftsman Walter Jennings. Signed "WJ" and dated 1917. This vase measures about 8.5 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide and has panels topped with a band of 6 quatrefoils and fine stippling. Somewhat similar to the vase above, but a little smaller and without the stippling on the side panels. Finish is dirty original medium brown.

Click here for a nice big pic.

Click here for a big closeup pic.

Two rare Walter Jennings cylinder vases. Sorry for the poor quality pictures, but I scanned these from an old flyer for the Muriel Jennings Case estate auction back in the mid '90s. Muriel was Walter's daughter and the estate included a whole load of rare and fine WJ copper stuff. Probably the finest grouping of Roycroft copper to ever hit the market at one time. I'm guessing the tall one was a 10 inch and the shorter one a 7 inch, and each has a band of tooled quartrefoils at the top.

Click here for a big pic.

Rare signed Walter Jennings bookends with tooled designs. About 7" by 3.75". Like most Jennings pieces, the workmanship on these is incredible, and as far as I know there is no Roycroft equivalent. Each bookend is decorated with a strong Arts and Crafts design consisting of seven stylized 4-petal flowers surrounded by a tooled line border. The brown finish is original. One bookend is signed with a mark used by Jennings on work done at home, and it's also dated 1921.

Click here for a closeup of the great workmanship (Jennings almost exclusively made jewelry in his later years).

Click here for a pic of the dated mark.

Rare signed Walter Jennings bookends with tooled designs. No Roycroft equivalent to these either. Each bookend is decorated with a curved diamond flower. Excellent original brown finish. Both signed with WJ's circle and slash mark.

Rare Walter Jennings page or card holder with tooled designs. About 5 inches long.

A nice little WJ item, with great workmanship. A case study in how valuable the finer WJ stuff is becoming, this piece sold for $525 on eBay 01/02. Note the rather whimsical version of his mark.

Click here to see a big pic that shows off the workmanship.

Rare set of Walter Jennings blotter corners with tooled designs.

I think this is a really cool little set, as it nicely illustrates both Jennings' tooling skills and design flair. It includes another variation on his quatrefoil motif, this time with one point elongated to make a teardrop-ish shape. I don't think this exact design was used on any Roycroft-signed pieces. Note that like a lot of Jennings' personal stuff, the surfaces on these are not hammered, just plain copper with tooling. These were probably cleaned at some point because the undersides are brown.

Click here to see a big pic that shows off the workmanship.

The items below represent a exclusive. They are part of a single collection and have never before been shown to the public. Special thanks to the lender of these photos for making this wonderful addition to possible. Note that the one-of-a-kind tray in the photo above is part of this collection.

Pen tray, letter opener and blotter corner. With wonderful tooling, these items are part of desk set consisting of the pen tray, letter opener, four blotter corners and a matching pair of bookends shown below.

One of a pair of bookends matching the desk set above.

Picture frame with quatrefoils in each corner. Note that this piece, and many of those below, have NOT been cleaned. Jennings didn't put the familiar Roycroft finishes on most of his stuff. Either he didn't like messing with all the chemicals, or he just liked the look of raw copper. I find it interesting that he did apply a brown finish to the bookends I own (on the "bookends" page), and I'm very happy that he did.

Another picture frame with quatrefoils.

I've seen a few of this style of picture frame, and a couple have sold on ebay. The ones I've seen have the conjoined WJ mark.


Awesome picture frame with some very Art Nouveau style tooling.

A neat little card holder. Note the brass finish.

This is the actual tray pictured in the old photo above (how cool is that!). You really have to click here and see this one large in order to appreciate it.

Another unique tray, this one with a motto. Maybe you can read it if you click here and check out a bigger pic.

Another tray, this one has a three-leaf clover motif around the border. Note that he decided to make this one brown. Click here for a bigger pic.

This bowl is very similar to a production Roycroft bowl that was part of their Italian Polychrome line. Click here for a bigger pic.

This one speaks for itself.

Here's a nice pic of WJ's "early" mark that he put on his own stuff. Stuff with this mark is most likely pre-1920.