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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Kenro Melmac Ice Buckets

Kenro Three Piece Ice Bucket
Kenro Ice Bucket on Etsy at shop Archivia, $29
Perhaps you saw my post about the Kenro company and their history; here is my follow up.  I saved my favorite piece for last. What I and many others call the "ice bucket"  or "wine bucket" or "chilling bucket" was actually the "Insulated Bowl" which was patented in January 1956.
Kenro Ice Bucket
The initial design dates to 1955, perhaps even earlier. Dating these should be easy as many early models will say "Patent Pending" on them, which means they were made from the date of application March 2, 1955 until the patent was granted in 1956. Surely after that time the backstamps were swapped to just be marked "Kenro" (on most of the plain buckets) and "Holiday by Kenro" on most (but not all) of the speckled buckets.   Here is a nice selection for sale, and where to find them!

Melmac Kenro


1. Made in the USA this lovely tri color red white and blue would go great at your 4th of July cookout. It can be found for $16.99 (what a steal) by Ebay user rsuresell

2.  A lovely robin's egg blue makes this turquoise ice bucket perfect for any melmac collector. Would look lovely to accompany that summer picnic!  This is only $15.00 starting bid at ThePerfectPickCollectibles.

3.  Retro colors make this tri tone a great addition to any vintage melmac collection.  This one is available at rock bottom pricing, only $12.50 at MODernThrowback on Ebay.

4. Lovely pale yellow is a great item to use in the Spring or for Easter. Available for $48.95 at The Rummage Rak on Ebay.

5. Super speckled version in the Holiday by Kenro line comes with 8 fun bowls! All you need for a super duper party, only $47 for the lot at CarpeBellus on Etsy!

6. Iconic white speckles in the Holiday line make this a nice clean bucket for the mod design lover! I think being one color draws your eye to the great designs! This one  $36 at ElementreeOldSkool on Etsy!

7. Rare Vintage Goodies on Ebay has this speckled two tone for $107.99. I'm in love with this, I think the colors are reminiscent of the late 60's and you could use the base for a garbage bowl in your kitchen!

I found evidence of them being produced up to the late 70's.  Some are quite lovely and comprised of several different colors which can make collecting them fun!  They are heavy duty and I've never found them chipped which tells me their thick heavy construction held up well over time. They are still fully functional and will keep your ice cold for a long time. 


Kenro Pattern Melmac Ice Bucket
The patterns are rare, and are printed right onto the melamine. This one, $99.99 from DupsterDiverWI
As for value, collectors of Melmac, barware, and mid century modern collectors should appreciate these items. Just the fact they are still useful are a plus!  Prices vary depending on condition, color, and shipping rates. Rarer designs, color combonations or shades will fetch more money. 

I would certainly pay on average $50 for a rarity that would match my collection. Odd is the color of pale yellow from #4 in my Kenro Collage, and it would match the Boontonware line quite wonderfully! For that reason it may be priced higher and sought after by those who can use it as a go-with in their melmac collection. Of course, rarest are patterned pieces where the melmac has tacky designs on it. I tend to think they may sell slower because they have to find the right person to give them their forever home!

Which would you own from above? Tell me!

You May Like: 

Read all Kenro posts here.

Love this or hate it? Kenro Platter.

This post sponsored by the Hogging Up West Virginia BBQ Festival. If you or someone you know lives in West Virginia, or near the panhandle area, be sure to check this festival out as it helps raise money for non profits in the area!

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