Vintage Wall / Decor – Syroco Dart Burwood HomCo Sexton

Being a transplant to the Syracuse area, I found interesting decorative items made out of plastic or faux wood; such as wall art, sconces and mirrors while shopping at my local thrift stores, yard sales, etc. Most of the pieces were tagged “Syroco” on the back. Naturally, as Syroco was based out of Syracuse, NY. The more I hunted, the more I found; similar items made by different manufacturers, sometimes even identical. Found some made out of metal. In attempting to research these items, I found there was very little information about most of these companies.

Here’s what I was able to round up / sort out / dig up:

Who or what is Syroco?
History from Syracuse University
“The Syracuse Ornamental Company, known as Syroco, was an American manufacturing company based in Syracuse, New York. They were best known for their molded wood-pulp products that resembled hand-carving.

Founded in Syracuse, New York in 1890 by immigrant Adolph Holstein, the Syracuse Ornamental Company (Syroco) specialized in decorative wood carving, especially for the local residential market. Products included fireplace mantelpieces and other types of interior decoration popular in late Victorian homes. To meet increasing market demand and sales opportunities Holstein developed a material looked and felt like wood but that which could be shaped, allowing multiple pieces to be produced through a molding process. The new product, which combined wood pulp brought from the Adirondacks with flour as a binder and other materials to give it strength, was extruded and then cut to fit compression molds, which had were made from original carvings in real wood.
Production of this new molded product, known as SyrocoWood, was the mainstay of the company’s production through the 1940s. The finished material could be smoothed and varnished to look like wood, or it could be painted. Sales catalogues from the early 1900s through the 1920s offer hundreds of varieties of moldings, capitals, brackets, volutes, and reliefs of vases, garlands, cartouches, scrollwork, and other details in a variety of styles.
By the 1930s the company had also developed an extensive line of gift and novelty items made of “SyrocoWood” and also “Woodite,” a combination of wood flour and polymer. In the 1960s the company began to use injection molding for some of its products, but did not entirely abandon its old processes.
Syroco added more lines of injection molded plastics when a new plant was opened in nearby Baldwinsville in 1963 which was entirely geared to plastics production, especially PVCs and polystyrene. The company began to use plastic in new “modern” designs and new forms for clocks, mirrors, tables and a range of household items.
In 1965 the company was bought by Rexall Drug and Chemical Company (which soon changed its name to Dart Industries). Dart owned Tupperware, from which Syroco gained more knowledge of injection molding.”

Syroco stickers

“C” and “D” are from at least 1939, they were used on all of the pieces for the New York World’s Fair in 1939.
The “J” and “K” stickers are from after 1964, when that new logo (the “S” with a chisel through it) was trademarked.

You will find some Dart and Crestyle pieces identical to Syroco. This was common; because Dart and Crestyle were both subsidies of Rexall Drugs (The parent company), so they reused old Syroco dies and just changed the manufacturer name. Syroco purchased Burwood and some of it’s assets in 1997. It’s unknown if they ever did anything with the name.

Syroco Kits

I have come across lots of pieces that looked as if they were hand painted by someone / not done at the factory. Apparently they sold kits called, “Syroco Craft” which were unpainted pieces. They came with paint and an antiquing solution to apply afterwards.

Coppercraft examples

Some Dart pieces will have a sticker on back that says, “Coppercraft Guild”. The piece would have either: a) have had a piece of copper on the back (The copper would have shown through the openings) or b) been copper in color. See examples above.

Coppercraft seal

There is some information about Coppercraft on wikipedia but I have reasons to believe it’s wrong. They have the company operating for only four or five years. Which is impossible, if you look at the sheer amount of stuff available online, their own catalogs, plus they are featured in several magazines before and after the supposed timeline. Here’s what I think / pieced together. The timeline of the company probably looks more like this:
Coppercraft pieces were made in Taunton, MA. Started in the mid 50s. They were either founded or owned at some point by Tandy (Radioshack). Similar to Tupperware, they sold items through the home party circuit. Sometime around 1974, they were purchased by Dart. They were then later acquired by Towle Manufacturing Company (famous silversmith manufacturer) in the early 80s. Company folded by the early 90s.

In the last twenty years of operation, Syroco changed hands several times; Syratech (1986), Marley PLC (1995), Fiskars (1999) and Vassallo (2004). Syroco finally closed its doors in 2007.

Popular sought out Syroco / Dart pieces: Corkscrews, regency style mirrors, atomic clocks, wall plaque eagle
Related companies/brands: Dart, Coppercraft Guild, Syracuse Ornamental Company, Syroco, Woodite, Syrocowood, Crestyle

Who or what is HomCo aka Home Interiors & Gifts Company?
History from ebay
In 1957, a single mother named Mary C. Crowley was looking for a way to increase her earnings as retail sales specialist. In the years that she had been in the workforce, general retail sales experience in department stores as well as early direct sales experience through companies like Stanley Home Products and World Gifts. She struck out on her own and started Home Interiors and Gifts Inc.

HomCo was designed similarly to Stanley Home Products in that it operated through a representative driven direct-sales system that was largely based around home parties. Many of the women Crowley marketed to eventually became saleswomen, called displayers, who were able to focus their business activities around their family duties. Crowley capitalized on the success of other companies that used a similar model, including Mary Kay, Avon, and Tupperware, with a special emphasis on Christian home values. Closed it’s doors in 2008.

Dart / Homco example

I believe the Homco plastic items were either made at the Syroco/Dart factories or they purchased Syroco’s old dies/patterns and reused them. Homco also used molds that were previously used by Universal Statuary and Miller Studio. Miller Studio primarily worked in chalk ware and Homco used the molds for their resin. Same with Universal Statuary.
At some point, Homco/Home Interiors owned Burwood (see more below).

Popular sought out HomCo pieces: regency style mirrors, last supper and nativity scenes made of porcelain, peacocks
Related companies / brands: Home Interiors, Burwood, HL Hubbell, Home Interiors and Gifts
Links: check out the HomCo group on facebook.

Who or what is Sexton?
Taken from an eulogy for Leland Sexton
In 1946, brothers Leland and Lowell Sexton started Sexton Metalcraft. Leland purchased his brother’s shares in the company in 1967 to become sole owner and president until 2004, when he retired and sold the business. 


Interestingly, Leland’s son, has a bunch of the original dies for sale online.

Similar to Syroco and HomCo, they made all sorts of wall art, sconces and knick knacks. Instead of plastic, their pieces were made out of cast aluminum.
Popular sought out pieces: gothic sconces, cats, roosters, patriotic themes.

Who or what is Burwood?
The Burwood Products Company, a wall decor and clock manufacturer, of Traverse City, Michigan made small items from burwood, a composite wood/plastic material that can be injection molded. They also made whimsical designs on buttons. The Company was originally housed in the old Owosso Carriage and Sleigh Company building on Milwaukee Avenue until it burned in December of 1932. Burwood closed its doors in 1997 when bankruptcy restructuring failed.


From another article in 1995:
To regain profitability and recover from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, clock manufacturer Burwood Products Co. plans to move away from low-end products and emphasize licensed and highly decorated lines… The clock vendor plans to focus on licensed and highly decorative items such as Coca-Cola novelty products and non-clock wall decor said Jim Taylor, president of Burwood Products Co.

Burwood Carved Products Co. started in the late 1920s in Port Huron, MI. In 1930, production was moved to Owosso, MI; they had a staff of 15. In 1932, they dropped “carved” from their name. For a period of time, they were owned by Homco, roughly 1974 to 1987-8.  In Dec of 1988, there was a union lock out after the new owner and employees could not negotiate a new contract.

I found pieces dating much later, bearing both the Burwood and Home Interiors names. These later pieces usually state, “Made Exclusively For”.  The companies split but they continued a working relationship. I believe this to be so, as there is no mention of Homco/Home Interiors and Gifts in Burwood’s bankruptcy. In the end, they filed for bankruptcy and their assets were purchased by Syroco 1997.

(11/2017 update) – I spoke with an ex-Syroco employee a few months ago and he confirmed my suspicions; Syroco was the plant making pieces for Burwood.

Popular sought out Burwood pieces: regency style mirrors, modern clocks, peacocks, buttons, train plaques.
Related companies / brands: Burwood, Hubbell, New Haven, Karved Wood (button line), Arabesque
Links: check out Burwood group on facebook.

Who or what is Ornawood?

I got nothing on Ornawood. They operated roughly from the 1920s to late 1940s. Not as desirable as some of the other companies mentioned.

Popular sought out Ornawood pieces: frames, tie racks, pipe holders, bookends.
Related companies: Ornawood

Who or what is Multi-Products?
History from Scoop
Multi-Products, Inc. existed in Chicago from the 1940s to at least 1959. While their products are well known, the company history is a mystery. Their Disney merchandise 1940-41 catalogue ads state “Division of Protectoseal Company of America, Inc.”


The company started in the 1920s and made products into the mid-1970s. Any further info on this company has been impossible to find.

They made licensed pieces for several comic strip characters; Kings Features Syndicate and Disney.
They are commonly mistaken as Syroco pieces. Most of their early pieces were unlabeled; making them hard to be identified. Later pieces had  the company name and copyright year molded into the piece.

Popular sought out Multi-Products pieces: Figurines such as Captain Marvel, Superman, Popeye, Pinocchio.
Related companies: Protectoseal

This concludes the brief histories of several different companies that made home decor items out of faux wood and plastic.
Please feel free to send any comments, questions, additions or corrections.


11/14/17 – added some info to Burwood
04/29/16 – fixed a few errors, added a few lines to Multi-Products.
05/03/14 – added Crestyle as a subsidy of Rexall Drugs (aka Dart Industries), Syroco’s parent company. Fixed a few typos.
02/23/14 added companies Homco shared molds with. Thanks to the Homco/Home Interiors group on facebook.


42 thoughts on “Vintage Wall / Decor – Syroco Dart Burwood HomCo Sexton


    • Hello!
      Syroco pieces look great refinished/repainted. I would dismantle the clock and candle holders before painting.
      Most Syroco pieces are made out of either plastic or Syroco (wood pulp mixture)

      I found these on pinterest:

      Hope they give you some ideas.

  2. Great description and information regarding the Syroco Company. Thank – you ! Would you know the era of the “Syroco Wood” logo labeled as Figure “B”?

  3. Awesome information and I appreciate that you posted it on the web! It is very time consuming to hunt down info and companies and history about anything and I thank you a million times over for all that you do just because it is your passion! Many blessings!

  4. Pingback: Art in the kitchen: Angelic blonde with ginger tabby n sunflowers in vintage Burwood frame – Ms Chef in Seattle

  5. Hello!
    I just bought a totally awesome Moulin Rouge oval scene made by Burwood. It also has a large (larger than the Burwood lettering) letter stamp on the back – AACU. Not sure what that means – do you happen to know? I am very impressed with your informative article about these plaque makers! It is so useful. I had no idea these companies were home-based businesses like Tupperware. Interesting!
    In the same thrift shop haul, I also got a very basically hideous scene of frogs, butterflies, and mushrooms by Homco, in yellow plastic – not even trying to look like wood here. The scene is colored in yellow, orange, lime, white and light blue.
    Last but not least, I brought home a set of three small plastic picture frames in white plastic with gold embellishing. Each frame has a glued-in “painting”. The backing is Masonite, permanently fixed. There is no company mark. Any ideas?

    Thanks again!

    • Hello! Sounds like you found some great stuff.
      1) Not sure what AACU means. The only thing that I found was “American Association of Colleges and Universities” but I’m sure that’s not it.
      2) Not sure either on the small plastic pictures. Possibly made overseas.

  6. Hi! Not sure if you’ll read this but this article was very informative because I’ve seen a lot of Syroco products being labeled as Multiproduct on Ebay and elsewhere so this really helped clear some things up. Great article, appreciate it!

  7. Great information: I have two syrco pieces that I got many years ago with green stamps, one is a water pump with a rake and plants, the other one is large wheel, bird, fence and plants. Any idea the value and age. Thank you jeanette

    • Hello, Without seeing a picture of them, I would guess 1960s, they are made of a wood composite and the value is between $15-30 for the pair. If you can, post a picture so I can get a better idea.

  8. I’m thrilled to have found your site! So much detailed information all in one place.Thank you for all the time you spent researching and for sharing with us. I have one question though. Do you know anything about the Syroco Logo labeled A? I’m thinking it’s a more recent logo as the pieces I found it on are in wonderful condition.

    • I believe the Syroco logo labelled A, is most likely 1930s to mid 1960s. Around 1964, they switched to newer logo that you see on J and K. Many of Syroco wall pieces are typically found in excellent condition, as most owners place them on the wall and they sat undisturbed for decades. I find a lot of their knick knacks in rougher shape; small mirrors, trinket boxes, bookends as these items saw a lot more day to day use.

  9. I have a framed print, matting covers about 5″ on all sides. The picture is in charcoal of a mother nude,reclinning on a couch on her side, with a child in her lap. The back ground is all in a solid dark gray. penciled numbers on the back appear to be G67681 The partial logo on the back is square, gold back ground with black letters.

  10. I have a Coppercraft Guild bronze oval mirror BUT the sticker notes Kitchener, Ontario. “Copy right MCMLXX Dart Ind. 2324”. I can not find any information on this item. Can you help in any way? thanks.

    • I sent you an email.
      I would value the piece around $18-$30.

      With all of the products made by Syroco and it subsidiaries, a lot of the model numbers are the same between companies. For example, your dart mirror is #2324. You may not find that exact match searching online. But if you search syroco #2324, chances are you will find an item that will match.

  11. Loved the article. Very informative. I have a part of a Syroco Wood sconce/planter, missing the pot.( I JUST found out that’s what it is after finding a picture online.) My sister in law gave it to us as a gift many years ago thinking that I could figure out something cool to do with it. Always thought that it looked like some of the Home Interiors stuff that my Mom and her friends had from the parties in the ’70s, when I was a kid. Now I know why ! Enjoyed your article thoroughly ! Would love to search some of those thrift stores with you. My favorite thing to do.
    Jeffrey Byrley, Louisville, Kentucky

  12. Wow – whoever conducted all the research above – BRAVO !!! It is really hard to find info on these companies and products. Plus it is very confusing because of all the different company names. My wife adores the daisy art by e. carpenter. We found a plastic lattice-like framed piece of art (like a plastic painting) that has daisies and has a soft yellow background. The piece has e. carpenter’s name on it. The back indicates Homco Dart Ind. Inc 1977 (in roman numerals) and is made in USA (has 3345 (or 3346?) on the back as well). So…do you know who e. carpenter is and the history of this wonderful artist? I am interested in finding more of e. carpenter’s art. Thanks!!!

    • E. Carpenter aka Ethel Carpenter passed on October 13, 2005 in Naples, FL. She was born in Mianus, CT.
      Ethel was a well known Artist who was listed in Who’s Who of American Art since 1973 and in International Who’s Who of Women of Achievement.
      Her work was widely exhibited in galleries throughout Florida and Rockport, Maine.

      I could not find out much more on her.
      A few of her prints are on Ebay. Several others can be found of various art dealer website.

  13. In the early ’70’s my mom purchased a huge Syroco sconce type thing for over the livingroom fireplace. It was at least 5 or 6 feet wide. It held at least a dozen tapers (hers were gold colored as well).It was gold with swooping chains linking the candle holders together. True ’70’s decor at the time!
    Anyway, one night they must have had a roaring wood fire in the fireplace because the whole thing melted! Hahaha. Great childhood memories!

  14. Hi, I am a set decorator for films and can only use art that is in the public domain or I have permission form the copyright holder. Does anyone know if Syroco, Dart, Homeco, Coppercraft…etc. is public domain? If not, who is the copyright holder?

    • Hello,
      After Syroco closed, I’m not sure if the copyright rights were renewed or not.
      According to the website, trademarkia, Attorney David Abrams was the last contact for their trademarks. You can try him:–abrams-1-285843

      With that said, I’m not sure why you would need permission to use their items in a film. You shouldn’t need a waiver for products, unless your film was specifically about Syroco. Or if you are displayed some sort of branded “Syroco” logo in the film.
      I’ve sold several pieces of Syroco to various tv, film and theater sets, including Mad Men. They had a ton of Syroco on their sets.
      Email me if you have any other questions. 416art AT gmail dot com

  15. wOW! Thank you so much. IBeing thoroughly ingrossed and reading every word is not by naturewhat i do,im one of thise scanner readers. But not with this , your article is great. Do you write by profession? If not ….you oughta . Thanks again

    • Thank you for the kind words.
      I do not write professional. I did work as a newspaper in college for a few years. It was a great learning experience.
      It’s been a few years since I last updated this site. Maybe I’ll get start again.

  16. Thank you, this is interesting information. Would to happen to know which years a mirror was made with a Syroco Wood sticker similar to sticker “B”, but instead of “Copyright” it says “Patent Pending”? Thank you!

    • I’m not a 100% positive, if the mirror is made of syroco wood composite, I would date the mirror from the 1940s to early 1960s. In the mid 1960s, the company started using injection molded plastics.

  17. Hello I have come across 3 fish pieces that are cast and stamped sexton 1978 USA. They are wall decor and the biggest one has a mirror in it. I can’t find anything on it searching the Internet. I’d love to know how much I should sell them for. I’d be happy to send pictures to you, thank you for your time!

  18. I have a Syroco item that is a May with a black top hat..carrying a Sexton..wearing a black jacket,tan vest and pants..brown shoes..standing on a brown box..I cannot find him in any reference in their company..They were mane in Syracuse NY..The sexton is quite large…at first I thought it was a compass..

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