May 19, 2011Vintage 1950s Tole Craft
By Sara In AZ
I was thrifting in Goodwill awhile back when I came across this little metal can for $1. Since I have a small obsession with ballerina things from the 1950s I could not pass it up! The paint on it looked too perfect to be free-hand, so I thought it could be paint by number. The only problem was I had never seen paint by number on metal before!
Here is a picture from the top looking down.
Here is a picture of the bottom. It looks like N.J. Bill painted this up in 1954! Good job N.J. Bill!
Here is a picture next to a drinking glass. You can see this is not very big. It measures approximately 5″ tall by 7″ wide.
I was really stumped by this little metal piece, so I decided to ask my friend Eartha Kitsch from Ranch Dressing with Eartha Kitsch for help. Eartha is a big Paint By Number aficionado and a total Nancy Drew of all things MCM, so I knew she could help me out!
She came across this picture on flickeflu and I was amazed to see another little can just like mine! Huh, these really did exist!
She found one other design on flickeflu!
Then Eartha came across this little can on Tias. This sweet little Letter Basket is for sale HERE.
Then Eartha hit pay-dirt and found this website where they had a scan of an old brochure! Yay!!! I finally know I have a “Desk Basket” and it is called Tole Craft!!! Wow, I never knew that Paint By Number was available in metal. How cool to learn something new in the retro world!
Here you can see all the different Tole Craft pieces they offered. A Chippendale Hanging Tray, a Chippendale Canape Tray, a Magazine Rack, a Hanging Picture Tray, a Waste Basket, and a Desk Basket. You can also see it lists 8 different designs to paint.
Ahhhhhh, thanks Eartha – now I know I have a Tole Craft Desk Basket!
I love it! 🙂