If you're wondering whether your find is really brass, it helps to learn a bit about what antique brass looks like. That way, you can determine the metal content and sometimes even the age of your treasure.
Is Your Item Solid Brass?
Sometimes, antique items are made of solid brass, but it's also common to find pieces that are plated or wrapped in a thinner layer of brass. You can tell the difference with the help of a magnet. If you hold a magnet against the item and feel a pull, you know the piece is brass plated. If there's no attraction, then the piece is solid brass. That's because the underlying metal is usually iron or steel, both of which are magnetic.Related Articles
Typical Features of Antique Brass
You'll see antique brass in the form of candlesticks, lamps, vases, beds, musical instruments, and more. Identifying it can be tricky for several reasons, however. Sometimes, brass has been lacquered to prevent tarnishing. Other times, it's been painted to change the style. How the brass has been stored can also affect its appearance dramatically. Understanding the features of antique brass can help you identify it.
Color - Red to Yellow
You can expect to see variation in the color of antique brass items. Brass is an alloy, which means it is made up of more than a single metal. In the case of brass, that combination is zinc and copper, and there's no set formula for how much of each metal is in the brass. For applications where strength is an issue, such as cabinet hardware or doorknobs, the brass often includes more zinc and has a yellow tone when polished. In decorative applications or even jewelry, the brass may contain less zinc and have a warmer, even reddish, tone. In some cases, such as marine hardware or screws, the brass includes tin in the alloy to help prevent corrosion.
Tarnish - Surface Oxidation
Antique brass pieces often display tarnish, unless they have been cleaned. Because brass is made up of zinc and copper, it tends to tarnish or oxidize. This happens because the metals in the brass react with skin oils and the oxygen in the air. Tarnish is often mottled with spots of various colors like red, black, brown, and gray. Over time, it can become very thick and cover the entire brass item with a dark coating. This tarnish is normal for antique brass, and you can clean it off if you wish.
Some brass items are lacquered to prevent them from tarnishing. However, over time, this lacquer can wear away or flake off. If you have an antique item with a lacquered brass finish, it may show uneven wear and areas of tarnish. The laquering process has been around since at least the 19th century, and older lacquered pieces tend to show patches of dullness or even small cracks or crazing.
Some antique brass pieces feature stamps or maker's marks to help identify where and when they were made. Look for these marks on the bottoms or backs of your brass antiques - they may appear as a collection of numbers, letters, or symbols. OldCopper.org has a good listing of various maker's marks to compare.
Painted brass can be difficult to spot. In some eras, brass was a less popular finish. When it went out of style, owners would paint the pieces, rather than discarding them. These painted items look virtually identical to other painted metal. However, if you are able to flake or scrape off a little of the paint, you can sometimes reveal the brass beneath it. Removing the paint can help restore the item to its original state.
Some brass antiques have required restoration over the years. Sometimes, the lacquer coating is stripped to remove the uneven surface. Generally, this does not affect the value of the item. In other cases, the piece must be soldered to reinforce its structure or repair damage. You can see more recent solder marks if you look closely at a restored piece. In general, skillful restoration isn't something you can notice at a glance.
Modern Antique Brass Finishes
You can buy cabinet hardware, doorknobs, plumbing fixtures, and more in an antique brass finish. Typically duller and more subtle than shiny brass, antique brass offers an understated touch for interiors. If you need to determine whether something is an antique or whether it's a modern item with an antique brass finish, look for signs of wear. A uniform surface and signs of recent machine manufacturing indicate a modern piece with an "antique" finish.
Learn More About Your Find
Whether your item is antique brass or not, it's fun to learn more about its age and history. Now that you know the materials, you can find out more about what your antique find might be.
© 2021 LoveToKnow Media. All rights reserved.
Polish up on collecting antique and vintage brass
By Eric Bradley
This article about collecting vintage brass items is an exclusive excerpt from the Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, which is available from KrauseBooks.com.
Brass is a yellow alloy mainly of copper and zinc but it can include other metals. Generally used for decorative articles, brass’s durability makes it ideal for inlays, wall insets and tools. The inexpensive, yet strong metal makes it ubiquitous across many cultures and objects for thousands of years. In modern times, brass was particularly favored during the Art Deco Movement of the 1930s and the Modernist Movement of the 1960s and 70s, the complete opposite of the darkly patinated copper and bronze used during the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau Movements. It was also a favored metal to use for accenting firearms and swords. The metal’s ability to withstand strong pressure and heat made it ideal for lanterns and locomotive pressure gauges.
Vintage items popular among collectors
Among the most heavily collected items today include chandeliers, figurines and statues, nautical items, clocks and pocket watches, and even microscopes. All of these items can be readily found at your local thrift store and flea markets. In fact, there are sellers on Etsy.com who specialize in bringing unique brass items to market.
The market for brass has been remarkably steady, but is showing signs of an upswing. Younger buyers who are attracted to simple forms and uses, particularly bookends, affordable jewelry, designer candlesticks and even furniture, favor the color. Generally, vintage examples of mass-produced bookends can be found between $5 and $50, depending on the venue. Brass figurines make attractive décor items and many brass items were produced with a practical use in mind, so many of the antiques can still be used for their intended purpose.
Solid examples of bookends are commanding higher prices these days, particularly figural examples of animals and people. High-quality castings are back in style. Low-quality castings are also holding their values (even if those values are not particularly high to begin with).
With brass, the older the object, the more value it offers to the decorator or collector. Home items from the late 1700 and early 1800s are collected based on their use. Several artists who worked in brass continue to see their values climb. Artists such as Franz and Karl Hagenauer, Josef Hoffman, Wiener Werkstatte, Peter Muller-Munk and Harry Bertoia all used brass as a medium due to its versatility. Most all of Bertoia’s musical sculptures employ brass.
New brass made to look old
Unlike other decorative mediums such as silver, gold or bronze, brass can tarnish and pit heavily if left in salt water or when exposed to some household cleaning solutions such as ammonia. Interestingly, many people are introducing artificial patinas to common, low-value brass objects for decorative effects. This can be achieved by applying vinegar, salt, some window cleaners and even hardboiled eggs. The brass object is placed into an airtight container for several hours to acquire the desired coloration, such as a ruddy, rust or green or even bronze look. Collectors should be aware of these artificial patinas if they are on the lookout for authentic pieces.
Since it is easy to make a new piece look old, it’s not surprising to learn Chinese and Japanese brass objects are being heavily reproduced. Both cultures were adept at using the metal in objects and tools, but many items were made for religious ceremonies. Again, the learned collector should study commonly used designs and castings before investing a lot of resources here. Sloppy or blurry castings are a sure sign the piece is new and is only worth décor value. The market for Indian brass has plummeted due to the mass amounts of imports flooding into the country. Brass from India should only be purchased from a reputable dealer or auction house.
The key to collecting quality brass items is based on careful observation. First, a quality brass item should not have any machining or mold marks or any other evidence that modern machinery was used in the making of the piece. Second, try to find out as much as possible about the time period in which a piece was made. This will help you understand the composition of the item and where it likely came from. The best quality brass items often have maker’s marks, which gives collectors much interesting stories and a source where the item was made. Unlike silver, these makers’ marks are most often found on the bottom of the piece or even hidden behind felt padding on the bottom.
Eric Bradley is a eight-time editor of the annual "Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide," America's No. 1 selling price guide. A former editor and an award-winning investigative journalist with a degree in economics, he has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Four Seasons Magazine, Bottom Line/Personal and The Detroit News, among others. He is the Public Relations Director at Heritage Auctions and lives near Dallas with his wife and three children.
(c) Vin Callcut 2002-2021.
Small extracts can be used with acknowledgements to 'Oldcopper.org' website.
Helpful comments are very welcome.
This is a small selection of relevant literature, most of which has been enjoyed. Other suggestions will be welcome.
Any publication showing ‘current values’ should be read with great caution depending on the usual considerations of publication date, present fashion, condition and whether the value suggested is for insurance, buying or selling.
· Antique Copper and Brass
· Makers’ Marks on Copper and Brass
· Fire Marks
· Horse Brasses
· Oil Lamps
· Scales & Weights
· Tokens (mainly) and Coins
· Vesta Boxes
· Practical Copper Casting, Fabrication and Restoration
· Sheet Metal Work
· Background Material
· Birmingham History
· British Mining & Industry
· American Mining & Industry
- Burgess, F. W., 'Chats on Old Copper and Brass', , 1914, revised C G E Blunt, Ernest Benn Ltd 1954, 184pp. Interesting early work for collectors covering a wide variety of products. 65 illustrations. 157pp. A guide to collecting copper and brass including descriptions of the alloys, a useful dictionary of copper and brass articles, 23 illustrations.
- Diviš, J, 'The Art of Bronze, Brass and Copper', Hamlyn English Edition, 1991, 240pp, ISBN 0 600 57268 4. Well illustrated with many fine examples, studying the development of European products from prehistory to twentieth century. 188 photographs
- Dragonwick, M. E. 'Metalware Price Guide', Antique Trade Books, 1995, 232pp ISBN 0 930625 39 0. Chapters on each type of metal giving very brief introduction and a selection of descriptions and 1995 American values, some illustrated. Brass gets 10 pages, copper only 8.
- Eveleigh, D. J., 'Brass and Brassware' Shire Publications1995, 32pp. ISBN 0 7478 0274 2. Brief introduction with illustrations mainly drawn from museum exhibits. 20 refs.
- Gaston, M. F. 'Antique Brass and Copper – Identification and Value Guide', Collector Books, Kentucky, 1996, 206pp. Excellent small illustrations, very brief descriptions and updated valuations for 686 items available in America. Many items are European, similar to European or interestingly different.
- Gentle R. and Field, R., 'Domestic Metalwork 1640-1820', Antique Collectors Club, 1994, New Edition 1975, 453pp. ISBN 1 85149 187 2. Classic, comprehensive coverage of the domestic use of brass in earlier times for every possible application. Good brief history of the industry. Many excellent illustrations with useful dating and comments.
- Hornsby, P. 'Collecting Copper and Brass', Moorland Publishing, 1989, 286pp, ISBN 0 86190 118 5. The development of British copper and brass from the early 17th to the early 20th century. 599 illustrations. Includes tables of marks of London braziers and armourers, 19th century Birmingham makers and other founders and braziers marks. 60 useful references.
- Hornsby, P. 'The Arthur Negus Guide to Pewter, Copper and Brass', Hamlyn, 1981, 176pp, ISBN 0 600 342174 4. An interesting and useful introduction to the subject, now superseded by the author's 'Collecting Copper and Brass'.
- Kaufman, H. J., 'American Copper and Brass', 1968, Reprinted 1995 by Masthof Press, 288pp, ISBN 1 883294 22 3 (also reprinted by Bonanza 1979), Useful historical description of the work of coppersmiths and brassfounders and examples of many of their products obtained mostly from museums. Lists of specialist workers in the USA. There are several other publications by this author on the subject.
- Kauffman, H. J. 'Early American Copper, Tin and Brass', , Astragal Press, 1995, 112pp (but some copies may lack pp 108 onwards) ISBN 1 879335 62 X. Covers hand-crafted ware from Colonial times. Contains examples supplementing the information in 'American Copper and Brass'
- Perry, E., ‘Collecting Antique Metalware’ Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1974, 191pp. ISBN 0-385-05197-2. Covers products made of tinned steel, copper, pewter, brass, bronze and iron, a description of what might be found in different domestic environments and notes on care and conservation, fakes forgeries and reproductions. Many illustrations from museums and private collections.
- Pinn, K., ‘Paktong’ Antique Collectors’ Club, 1999, 190pp, 166 plates, ISBN 1 85149 324 7. Definitive work covering the development of the composition of the Chinese alloy, trade and use of the material in Europe 1680-1820, 26 refs.
- Revi, A. C., 'Collectible Iron, Tin, Copper and Brass', Castle Books, 1974, 158pp. Reprints of fifty articles from 'Spinning Wheel Magazine covering an interesting variety of types of articles.
- Schiffer, P., N. & H., 'The Brass Book', Schiffer Publishing, 1978, 446pp ISBN 0 916838 17 X. American, English and European brass from the fifteenth century to 1850 covered in detail in thirty chapters. Large sections are devoted to andirons, candlesticks, fire-place accessories, kettles and tobacco boxes. Smaller sections include horse brasses, scientific and occupational instruments, and table wares. Copious illustrations. 40 refs.
- Turner, E. 'An Introduction to Brass', HMSO London, 1982, 48pp. ISBN 0 11 290376 2, Valuable coverage of the development and history of medieval brass across Europe. The illustrations show examples of superb craftsmanship, mostly of museum quality items beyond the reach of collectors.
- Wills, G., 'Collecting Copper and Brass', Arco Handybooks, 1962, 157pp.
- For items made by jewellers and originally silver plated, books of marks of makers of silver plate will be relevant. Other references cover items made by pewterers.
- Butler, Roderick, 'Marked Domestic Brass and other Base Metalware c1600-c1900', 116pp, 2001. Roderick Butler, Marwood House, Honiton. Devon.
- Haslam, M., 'Marks and Monograms, The Decorative Arts 1880-1960', Cameron Books, 1977, (1st Edn as 'Marks and Monograms of the Modern Movement', 1995).
- Hornsby, P., 'Collecting Copper and Brass',. Moorland Publishing, 1989, 286pp, ISBN 0 86190 118 5
- Hawkins, R. P. N., 'A Dictionary of Makers of British metallic tickets, checks, medalets, tallies and counters 1788-1910', 1136pp, 1989, A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd. London ISBN 0 906919 15 0.
- Heseltine, Peter, 'Engravers of Monumental Brasses' PMS, 2001 73pp, ISBN 0-95243706-6
- 'Handwrought Metalwork from the American Arts & Crafts Movement' www.chicagosilver.com
- Unknown Marks on Silver & Plate
- The home page of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1000 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington, Mappin & Webb, WMF, Reed & Barton), history, oddities created by Giorgio B.
- Bramah, E. & J. B., ‘Coffee Makers – 300 years of Art and Design’, Hutchinson, 1972, 170pp. ISBN 1870948 33 5, comprehensive and well illustrated.
- Bruce, I. ‘The Loving Eye and Skilful Hand – The Keswick School of Industrial Arts’ Bookcase, 2001, 152pp., Excellent history of the School.
- Brunton, J., ‘The Arts & Crafts Movement in the Lake District’, University of Lancaster, 2001, 163pp., ISBN 1 86220 111 0. A social history with coverage of the Keswick School of Industrial Art.
- Erixon, S., 'Gammal Mässing', ICA, 1964, 111pp. Classic examples of Swedish design through the centuries.
- Greenstead, M. ‘The Arts and Crafts Movement in the Cotswolds’, Sutton Publishing, 1993, 1996 & 2001, 196pp. ISBN 0 7509 1165 4. Useful survey of the arts, architecture, furniture and furnishings produced between c1890 and 1939.
- Haedeke, H-U., 'Metalwork', Universe Books, 1970, 227pp SBN 87663 110 3. Discusses the development of copper, brass, bronze, iron and pewter objects of all types and their places in society from ancient times to the industrial revolution and beyond. 128pp of illustrations.
- Hamerton, I. et al., ‘W A S Benson – Arts and Crafts Luminary and Pioneer of Modern Design’, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2005, 303pp. ISBN 1 85149 476 6. Comprehensive biography and achievements as architect, designer, inventor and manufacturer with copies of some catalogues.
- Hubbard, E., ‘The Book of the Roycrofters, 1919, republished 2002 as ‘Roycroft Decorative Accessoried in Copper and Leather’ by Dover Publications, ISBN 0 486 42112 0. 52pp. Catalogue of Roycroft items.
- Johnson, D_E. & Pina, L., ‘Chase Complete – Deco Specialities of the Chase Brass and Copper Co.’, Schiffer Publishing, 1999 , 230pp, ISBN 0-7643 0843 2. Superb coverage of American art deco period.
- Kaplan, W. et al., 'Encyclopedia of Arts and Crafts' 1870-1920’, Grange Books 1998, 192pp. Very useful survey of the beginnings of the movement and its development for architecture and furnishings. Metalwork gets a good chapter.
- Laity, J. C., ‘Newlyn Copper’, Newlyn Press, 1986, 16pp.
- Lyons, H. ‘Christopher Dresser – The People’s Designer, 1834-1904’, Antique Collectors’ Club, 2005, 320pp ISBN 1 85149 455 3. Includes a full chapter on metalware.
- McConnell, K., ‘Roycroft Art Metal’, reprinted 1990, ISBN 0 88740 694 7 and 'More Roycroft Art Metal', 1995, Schiffer Books 128pp ISBN 0 88740 846 6. Two volumes devoted to a brief history of the Roycroft and Avon copperworks together with many examples of products and values.
- Sobel, D., 'Longitude', Fourth Estate, London 1996, 185pp. Relatively brief account of John Harrison's forty years spent with brass developing the marine chronometer. 31 refs.
- Thompson, M. ‘Hugh Wallis – Artist and Metalworker’, Bushey Museum & Art Gallery, 2005, 96pp., ISBN 0 9550481 0 9. Good coverage of his life and important work.
- A small sample of publications on specialist subjects. Clocks, Watches and Horology - too big a subject to be covered here, as for many other topics.
- Franklin, L. C., '300 Years of Kitchen Collectibles' Krause Publications, 4th Edn, 1997, 648pp ISBN 0 89689-112-7. A very comprehensive American book on this topic describing and valuing 7,500 items and including 1,800 illustrations.
- Hatblatt, Kickowel, 'Ancient Broaches and Other Artefacts', 1989, ISBN 0 946897 174 Comprehensive description of the many types of broaches and other items found in excavations, well illustrated.
- Benedictus, D., 'The Antique Collector's Guide', Macmillan, 1980, 264pp. An antiques dictionary with much useful text defining terms, 24 refs.
- 'Car Boot Collectibles', Marshall Books, 1997, 224pp. ISBN 1 85435 883 9. Amongst a wide selection of topics, includes brief sections on Cottage Brass, Horse Brasses, Candlesticks and Preserving pans.
- Adburgham, A. (Ed), 'Yesterday's Shopping', David and Charles Reprints 1969 & 1980, 1282pp. ISBN 0 7153 4692 X. The 1907 Catalogue of the Army and Navy Stores, fully illustrated with item sizes and original prices. An invaluable guide to what was being made to new and old designs during that year.
- Goodison, N., 'Ormolu, the Work of Matthew Boulton', Phaidon, 1974, 298pp, 178plates. Antique Collectors’ Club edition 1999. Revised and enlarged edition by Christies in 2002. Concerned with ormolu ornaments, candelabra, door knobs, escutcheons, sconces, inkstands, clock cases and ornamental vases produced at the Soho Factory in Birmingham between 1768 and 1782.
- Renard, J-C., ‘Les Cuivres de Cuisine’, Editions de l’amateur, 1997 ISBN 285917 242 4. 239pp of catering equipment and methods of use.
- Birdwood, G. C. M. ‘The Arts of India’ British Book Co, 1880, reprinted 1971, 1986. 344pp. ISBN 0 907854 07 9.
- Blacker, J. F., ‘The ABC of Indian Art’, Stanley Paul & Co., 1922 302pp.
- Cosgrove, M. G., 'The Enamels of China and Japan - Champlevé and Cloisonné', Dodd Mead & Co., 1974, 115pp, 27 refs, ISBN0-396-06733-6. Thorough coverage of the history of enamelling on copper and brass together with techniques and symbolism.
- Pinn, K., 'Paktong', Antique Collectors' Club, 1999, 190pp, 166 plates, ISBN 1 85149 324 7. Definitive work covering the development of the composition of the Chinese alloy, trade and use of the material in Europe 1680-1820, 26 refs.
- Strong, Susan, 'Bidri Ware - Inlaid Metalwork from India', Victoria and Albert Museum, 1985, ISBN 0 905209 63 X, 96pp. Presents the origins, techniques and uses of the products from Bidar in the Deccan that are so different from cloisonné.
- Bangs, C., ‘The Lear Collection’ - a study of copper alloy socket candlesticks (AD 200-1700). Emphasising the period 1300-1700, the collection includes 188 candlesticks, chambersticks and snuffers and a number of rare forms which have never been published. Each piece is discussed individually in depth and illustrated as a full page monochrome. There are 34 pages of colour and an 8-page bibliography. 398 pages, 188 full monochrome illustrations. Limited edition publication not generally available. 11" x 8½". Also occasionally found is also an auction catalogue covering the dispersal of the collection.
- Michaelis, R. F., 'Old Domestic Base-Metal Candlesticks', Antique Collectors Club, 1978, 139pp. 4th Printing 1997. ISBN 0 0902028 27 8. 202figs, 30 refs. Classic coverage of the subject in detail from Saxon to modern times.
- Snodin, M., 'Domestic Brass Candlesticks 1450-1850', Antique Dealer and Collector's Guide, July 1976. A useful primer with brief coverage of candlesticks made from many materials.
- Stratton, D., 'Candlesticks', Pitman Publishing, 1976, 112pp, ISBN 0 273 00234 1. Covers a wide range of materials used for making candlesticks and the basic designs employed.
- Wolton, M. F., 'Candle Snuffers', Willowbeck, 2000, 56pp., ISBN 0-9537545-0-2 Thorough survey of a fascinating speciality.
- Watney, B. M., and Babbidge, H. D., 'Corkscrews for Collectors', 1981, 160pp, Southeby Parke Bernet Publications, 164 plates, 17 refs. ISBN 0 85667-113-4. A comprehensive survey of European and American designs by charter members of the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts. Starting from 1630's bullet extractors, the book covers every major design type from portables through typical domestic corkscrews to the massive products used by professionals at tables and behind bars, jointly considering mechanical design and qualifications as objets d'art.
- Wright, B., ‘The British Fire Mark 1680-1879’, Woodhead-Faulkener, 1982, 478pp. ISBN 0 85941 175 3. Good coverage of genuine copper and lead firemarks now keenly collected.
- Vince, J., 'Discovering Horse Brasses', Shire Publications, 1994, 48pp. ISBN 0 85263 014X. Economic introduction to an extensive topic.
- Cuffley, P., 'A Complete Catalogue and History of Oil and Kerosene Lamps in Australia', Pioneer Design Studio, ISBN 0 909674 00 0, 192pp, over 600 illustrations. Excellent survey covering 114 years of products and their makers including items imported from Europe and USA. Very good section on burner development.
- Caspall, P., 'Fire and Light in the Home pre 1820' Antique Collectors' Club, 1987, 278pp, 39 refs, ISBN 1 85149 021 3. An excellent summary of the progress of lighting equipment through the centuries including all varieties of candle holders until the apparent end of originality in 1820.
- Graff, J. F., ‘The Lamp Collector’s Guide’, John Filson Graff, 2nd Edn 1998 & 2004, c200 pp. Portmanteau survey of known lamp types, burners and chimneys from the Secretary of the International Guild of Lamp Researchers, Ltd.
- Thuro, C. M. O., 'Oil Lamps I', Thorncliffe House Inc., 1975, 352pp ISBN 0-87069-121-X, Standard reference book on collecting lamps including a survey of all types, their care, repair and accessories. Many illustrations.
- Thuro, C. M. O., 'Oil Lamps II', Thorncliffe House Inc., 1983, 160pp ISBN 0-89154-226-5, Follow up to 'Coil Lamps I' dealing especially with lamps made largely of glass. Fully illustrated.
Scales & Weights
- Crawforth, M. A., 'Handbook of Old Weighing Instruments', M. A. Crawforth, International Society of Antique Scale Collectors, 1984, rev 1987, 130pp. Authoritative description of the many types of simple and complex weighing instruments likely to be encountered.
- Graham, J. T., 'Scales and Balances', Shire Publications 2nd Edn 1986, 32pp, ISBN 0 85263 840 X Introduction to weighing instruments such as beamscales, balances, steelyards, letter scales and spring balances. 18 refs.
- McConnel, B., 'Thimbles', Charles Letts, 1991, 95pp ISBN 1 85238 120 5. Very useful coverage of this specialist subject from medieval to modern together with advice on conservation and buyers guide. Over 300 illustrations, List of Thimble Associations worldwide.
Tokens (mainly) and Coins
- Bell, R. G. ‘Commercial Coins 1787-1804’, Newcastle 1963, 145pp.
- Casey, P. J., 'Roman Coinage in Britain', Shire Archaeology, 1999, 64pp., 19 refs., ISBN 0-7478-0231-9
- Dalton, R. & Hamer, S. ‘The Provincial Token Coinage of the 18th Century’., Allan Davisson's 2004 reprint of this classic work by Richard Dalton & Samuel Hamer which is a must for collector's with a serious interest in British 18th Century tokens or "Conders". Fully illustrated with each variety accurately described including a 12 page booklet giving details of new varieties discovered since 1996 and annotated bibliography of important auctions. New, hardback, 566 pages.
- Dickinson, M., ‘Seventeenth Century Tokens of the British Isles and Their Values’ 1986, reprinted by Spink, 2004. Hardback with dust jacket, 292 pages, 7½"x10", new as issued.
- Hawkins, R. P. N., 'A Dictionary of Makers of British metallic tickets, checks, medalets, tallies and counters 1788-1910', 1136pp, 1989, A H Baldwin & Sons Ltd. London ISBN 0 906919 15 0
- Jersey, P. de, 'Celtic Coinage in Britain', Shire Archaeology, 1996, 55pp, 13 refs., ISBN 0747803250
- Seaby, P. and Purvey, P. F., 'Coins of England and the United Kingdom', 19th Edn 1982, 320pp, ISBN 0-900652-63-2. A catalogue, updated annually, covering coinage from Celtic times onwards with descriptions and values.
- Selgin, Prof. George, ‘Good Money: How some Birmingham Button Makers beat Gresham’s Law, created the first successful Cash for the Masses, and kept the Industrial Revolution from Conking out.’ Unpublished book, 2005. Dept. of Economics, University of Georgia, USA.
- Turner, Wayne, ‘John Wilkinson’s Trade Tokens’, J Wilk Soc 1974, 2, 10-12.
- See other good books by R. C. Bell and Paul Withers amongst others.
- Fresco-Corbu, R., 'Vesta Boxes', Lutterworth Press, 1983, 64pp, 7 refs., ISBN 0-7188-2582-9 An excellent survey.
- Gilchrist, M., 'Whistles', Shire Publications, 2001, soft cover ISBN ISBN:0747804729. 40 pp, 50 colour and 49 b/w illustrations. This book covers all major types and gives a general introduction to the wonderful world of whistles.
- Freidel, R., 'Zipper - An Exploration in Novelty', W Norton & Co, 1994, 280pp ISBN 0-393-31365-4 A treasury of tales about the invention, development, history and use of zippers. Many references and notes.
- 'Architectural Brass', CDA Publication No 89, 1981, 8pp. Brief introduction to the use of brass for architectural purposes with illustrations of recent good applications.
- Callcut, V. A., 'Brasses – Design Compendium', CDA Publication No 117, 1996, 65pp. Comprehensive coverage of all available standard brasses, their compositions, properties and applications. Describes common industrial forming, fabrication, machining and fabrication techniques used in the production of engineering components.
- Untracht-Hale, O., 'Metal Techniques for Craftsmen', ISBN 0-7091-0723-4.
Sheet Metal Work
- Bovin, M., 'Silversmithing and Art Metal', 1995, Bovin Publishing ISBN 910280-03-7. Many useful line drawings showing fabrication techniques applicable to copper.
- 'Copper and Brass Sheet Metalwork', CDA Publication No 66, 1965, 32pp. Some introductory notes for students.
- Cuzner, B., 'A Silversmiths’ Manual', Nag Press, ISBN 7198-00625
- Fuller, J., 'Art of Coppersmithing', Astragal Press, New Jersey, 1993, 327pp. Facsimile reprint of the 1894 original with a brief description of training as tinman, brazier and coppersmith followed by detailed instructions on the manufacture of many domestic, cookware and industrial items. Excellent descriptions of tools and techniques then in use.
- Hooper and Shirly, 'Handcraft in Wood and Metal', 1936, Batsford
- Horth, A. C., 'Repousée Metalwork', Lindsay Publications Inc, 1905, reprinted 1999, 103pp., ISBN 1-55918-233-4 Principles, tools, practice and products.
- Rose, A. F., 'Copper Work', Lindsay Publications Inc., 1908, reprinted 1989, 123pp, ISBN 1-55918-014-5 Nine projects in detail and enamelling.
- Reagan, J. E. & Smith, E. E., 'Metal Spinning', Lindsay Publications, 1936, reprinted 1991, 80pp., ISBN 0-917914-83-X Tools, equipment and projects.
- Tuells, C. & Painter, W. A., 'Metal Spinning', The Industrial Press, 1910, reprinted, 38pp Principles and tools used.
- Warn, R. H., 'Sheet Metalworkers Instructor', 1906, Crosby Lockwood & Son.
- (If not easily available, some of the reprints listed can be obtained through Camden Miniature Steam Services, www.camdenmin.co.uk. or other specialist sources.)
- Brown, L. 'Joining of Copper and Copper Alloys', CDA Publication No 98, 1994, 44pp. Invaluable guide to all available welding and brazing techniques for coppers and copper alloys; also covers standard and low-melting point soldering. Joining Copper.
- Browning, C., 'Care and Repair of Antique Metalware', Chartwell Books, 1995, 76pp. ISBN 0-7858-0406-4. Brief description of tools and techniques followed by illustrated examples of five repair projects.
- Holtzapfel, C., 'Turning and Mechanical Manipulation' Vol 1, 1933 Tee Publishing ISBN 1-85761-031-8
- 'Machining Brass, Copper and Copper Alloys', CDA Publication No. 44, 1992, 66pp. Basic information needed for common machining operations with coppers and copper alloys. Machining.
- Bealer, A. W., 'Art of Blacksmithing', Castle Books, 1976, reprinted 1995, 438pp, ISBN 0-7858-0395-5 History, techniques and modern suppliers.
- Callcut, V. A. and Segal, A., 'Clear Protective Coatings for Copper and Copper Alloys', CDA Publication No 41, 1991, 16p. Covers in detail the lacquer types recommended for use on copper and copper alloys indoors and outside. Clear Coatings
- ‘Canning Handbook on Cleaning, Pickling and Dipping’, 1978. Chapter 11 of the main Canning Handbook printed separately. 62pp.
- Hughes, R. and Rowe, M., 'The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals', Thames and Hudson, 2nd Edn. 1991, 372pp. ISBN 0 500 01501 5. A manual for fine metalworkers, sculptors and designers. Classic treatise originally published by the Arts Council in 1982 describing hundreds of tested techniques for making surface finish colours, colour illustrations, 404 references.
- Jennings, T. S., 'Bellfounding', Shire Publications, 1988, 31pp. ISBN 0 85263 911 2 Fascinating introduction to the art of bellfounding including moulding, casting and tuning. 10 refs.
- Macken, P. J., 'Copper Alloy Casting Design', CDA Publication 76, 1970. 68pp. Covers British Standard casting coppers and copper alloys, casting processes, fundamentals of design and design procedures in detail.
- Mantle, E. C. and Callcut, V. A., 'Copper and Copper Alloy Castings', CDA Publication No 42, 1991, 40pp. Includes standard copper and copper alloys for castings commonly specified throughout Europe. Covers main applications, design considerations, casting techniques and attainable properties. Copper and Copper Alloy Castings.
- 'Repairing and Restoring Antiques', 3rd Edn. Ward Lock, 1979, 183pp. ISBN 0 7063 5882 2 An encyclopaedia of restoration and maintenance covering 66 types of product in useful detail.
- Callcut, V. A. and. Bendall, K., 'Copper-the Vital Metal', CDA Publication No 121, 1998, 42pp. Introduction to copper, its alloys and their applications, mining, extraction, fabrication, compositions and properties, including all their valuable attributes in every important aspect of life. Copper - the Viatl Metal.
- Callcut, V. A. and Segal, A., 'Design for Production', CDA Publication No 97, 1994, 64pp. Consideration of the many ways in which copper and copper alloys can be fabricated or cast for the cost-effective production of articles. Design for Production.
- 'Copper in Plant, Animal and Human Nutrition', CDA Book 35, 81pp. Archive.
- 'Copper and Human Health' CDA Publication No 34 10pp 1985.Archive.
- 'Design in Brass', CDA Publication No 84, 1986, 8pp. Introduction to the types of brass available industrially, their properties and applications.
- Hardyment, C., 'Behind the Scenes - Domestic Arrangements in Historic Houses', The National Trust, 1997, 256pp. ISBN 0 7078 0282 2. Useful description of the responsibilities of domestic staff, well illustrated with examples from National Trust properties.
- Gentle, R. and Field, R., 'English Domestic Brass, 1680-1810', Pan/Elk 1975. Genesis and development of the English brasswork industry. Excellent, but superseded by the authors' 'Domestic Metalwork 1640-1820', see Antique Copper and Brass section.
- Hughes, T., 'A-Z of Collector's Terms', Chancellor Press 1979, 287pp. ISBN 1 85152 297 2. Very useful introductory reference.
- Merriman, A. D., 'A Dictionary of Metallurgy', Macdonald and Evans, 1957, 245pp. Very useful for recent and obsolete trade names for alloys and alloy descriptions.
- Seymour, J., 'Forgotten Household Crafts', Dorling Kindersley, 1987, 192pp. ISBN 0 75130 368 2. National Trust book published to record how common domestic responsibilities were carried out using the available equipment.
- (There are many other books dealing with the history of mining, manufacturing and commerce in specific areas.)
- Agricola, G., 'De Re Metallica', Basle, 1556, translated by H C and L H Hoover, 1950, Dover Publications Inc. New York. ISBN 0 486 60006 8. Under the family name of 'Bauer' he had travelled much of Europe. Describes the mining, refining, casting and fabrication procedures being used in Central Europe around 1520-1560. The line drawings of the processes are classics of clarity, since reproduced in many other publications.
- Aitcheson, L., 'A History of Metals', Interscience Publishers, 1960, 2 Vols, 647pp. Comprehensive survey of the development of metallurgy world wide from the Stone Age to nuclear fission in 15 useful chapters.
- Alexander, W. O. ‘A Brief Review of the Development of the Copper, Zinc and Brass Industries in Great Britain from AD 1500 to 1900.’, Murex Review Vol. 1 No 15 1955, pp 389-427. Industry Development
- Bingeman, J. M., Bethell, J. P., Goodwin, P. & Mack, A. T., ‘Copper and other Sheathing in the Royal Navy’, Int. J. Naut. Arch. (2000) 29.2, pp218-229.
- Bradley, K., 'Copper Venture', Mufulira and Roan Antelope Copper Mines, 1952, 112pp. The discovery and development of Roan Antelope and Mufulira copper mines in what was then Northern Rhodesia, up to1932 including the great work of Chester Beatty.
- Bulpin, T. V., ‘Trail of the Copper King’, Howard B Timmins, Cape Town, 1959 239pp.
- Herfindal, Orris C. ‘Copper Costs and Prices: 1870-1975’, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore. 1959, 260pp, Library of Congress Cat Card 59-15390.
- Higgins, R., 'The Greek Bronze Age', British Museum, 1970, 50pp., 19 refs.,
- Nash, W. G., 'The Rio Tinto Mine', Simkin Marshall Hamilton Kent & Co., 1904, 235pp. History of the mines on the River Tinto in Huelva, Spain from 1100BC to 1873AD
- Percy, John, ‘Metallurgy’ John Murray, London, 1861, 633pp.
- Prain, Sir Ronald, ‘Copper in Transition’ Opening address to the Metals Society Conference ‘Copper ‘83’, Amsterdam, 1983.
- Prain, Sir Ronald, ‘Copper, The Anatomy of an Industry’, Mining Journal Books, London, 1975, 298pp. ISBN 0 900117 07 9.
- Preston, G. W., 'Copper through the Ages', CDA Publication No 3, 62pp 1934. Useful coverage of the history and applications of copper and its alloys.
- Rothenberg, B. and Blanco-Freijerio, A., 'Ancient Mining and Metallurgy in South-West Spain', Institute for Archeo-Metallurgical Studies, 1981, 320pp. ISBN 0-906183-01-4 Detailed investigation of copper working in the Huelva province from Chalcolithic (Copper) Age to Roman times.
- Schmitz, C. J., ‘World Non-Ferrous Metal Production and Prices 1700-1976’. Frank Cass 1979 425pp. ISBN 07146 3109 4.
- Strong, D. and Brown, D. (Ed), 'Roman Crafts', Gerald Duckworth & Co, 1976, 256pp. ISBN 0 7156 0781 2 Nineteen excellent contributions covering the way in which domestic artefacts were made in Roman times, includes sections on bronze, jewellery, enamelling and minting of coins.
- Webster Smith, B., 'Sixty Centuries of Copper', CDA Publication No 69, Hutchinson, London 1965, 95pp. Very readable survey of sources of copper and its alloys and their applications throughout many years. Long out of print but frequently available second hand.
- Alexander, W O, ‘A Brief Review of the Development of the Copper, Zinc and Brass Industries in Great Britain from AD 1500 to 1900. Murex Review Vol. 1 No 15, 1955. (see: Alexander)
- Allen, G. C., ‘The Industrial History of Birmingham and the Black Country’, (1860-1927), Frank Cass & Co. 1929, revised 1966. 479pp. Continues from Timmins end date of 1866.
- Beresford, L G, ‘Brummagem Brass’ Presidential Address delivered to the Birmingham Metallurgical Society, October 27th, 1960. (see: Brummagem)
- Best, R. D., ‘Brass Chandelier’, A Biography of R. H. Best, George Allen & Unwin, 1940, 249pp.
- Burgess, F. W., ‘Chats on Old Copper and Brass’, T Fisher Unwin, London, 1914, 400pp.
- Cordero, H. G. and Tarring, L. H., ‘Babylon to Birmingham’ Quin Press, London, 1960, 498pp.
- Dickinson, H. W., 'Matthew Boulton', TEE Publishing, 1936, reprint 1999, 218pp, ISBN 1 85761 1128 Useful and accessible survey of the life of the leading Birmingham industrialist.
- 'Ormolu: the work of Matthew Bolton', Phaidon, 1974. Standard work on the Birmingham brassworks, products and marketing methods.
- Hiley, Edgar N., ‘Brass Saga’, Earnest Benn Ltd. London, 1957, 164pp. History of the National Brassfounders’ Association and its constituent founders and members concentrating on Birmingham with sections on Yorkshire and London.
- Hopkins, E., ‘Birmingham, The First Manufacturing Town in the World (1760-1840'), Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989, 222pp., ISBN0 297 79473 6. Social survey.
- Timmins, Samuel, ‘Birmingham and the Midland Hardware District’, Frank Cass & Co., 1866, reprinted 1967, 721pp. (Covers years to 1866, later times covered by Allen).
- Toomey, Robert R., ‘Vivian and Sons, 1809-1924’, Garland 1985.
- Upton, C., ‘A History of Birmingham’, Phillimore & Co., 1993, 218pp. ISBN 0 85033 870 0. Survey of development of the City and its infrastructure.
British Mining & Industry
- Atkinson, R. L. ‘Copper and Copper Mining’, Shire Album No 201, 1987, 32pp. ISBN 0 85263 895 7.
- Barton, D. B., ‘A History of Copper Mining in Cornwall and Devon', Bradford Barton 2nd Ed 1968, 102pp. Useful survey starting in 1580 but concentrating on the relatively prosperous period from 1770 to 1850.
- British Parliamentary Papers ‘The Copper Mines and Copper Industry of the United Kingdom’, House of Commons Reports X, 5th April 1799, 651-728. An examination of the structure and prosperity of the industry.
- Buchanan, A. and Cossons, N., ‘Industrial Archaeology of the Bristol Region’, David & Charles, Newton Abbot, 1969, 335pp. ISBN 7153 4394 7.
- Day, J., 'Bristol Brass', David and Charles 1973 Covers the development of the industry from the discovery of zinc ore nearby in 1566 through the heyday of good technology to the decline through the 19th century as Birmingham became pre-eminent.
- Donald, M. B., 'Elizabethan Copper', Pergamon 1995, 405pp. The History of the Company of Mines Royal, 1568-1605, describing the development of the commercial monopoly for copper mining in the UK during that period using German expertise. Keswick copper mining well covered.
- Donald, M. B., 'Elizabethan Monopolies', M. B. Donald, Oliver and Boyd, 1961, 256pp. The History of the Company of Mineral and Battery Works from 1565 to 1604. This was organised as a patent licensing company. Coverage of brass manufacture at Tintern Abbey and Isleworth, Middx is included.
- Hamilton, H., 'English Copper and Brass Industries to 1800', 1926 , 2nd Edn 1967, Frank Cass & Co, 388pp. Standard work giving comprehensive coverage of the practicalities, politics and pricing policies of British brassworks in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
- Harris, J. R., 'Copper King', Liverpool University Press and University of Toronto Press, 1964, 192pp. A biography of Thomas Williams of Llanidan covering the rise of the British copper industry through the development of the vast Parys Mountain copper mine in Anglesey and the promotion of its product.
- Hope, B., 'A Curious Place', Watch House Books, 1994, 176pp, ISBN 0 9535268, The industrial History of Amlwch, 1550-1950. Describes the important development of the port for Parys Mountain in Anglesey, the biggest copper mine in the world for many years.
- Manning, W ‘The Parys and Mona Mines in Anglesey’, The Future of Non-Ferrous Mining in Great Britain and Ireland (1959)., quoted by C J Williams.
- 'Records of British Business Industry 1760-1914', Vol. 4 Metal Processing and Engineering. HMSO 1994 ISBN 0 11 440232 9.
- Rees, Ronald, ‘King Copper: South Wales and the Copper Trade 1584-1895’. University of Wales Press, 2000, 179pp.
- Rowlands, J., 'Copper Mountain', Anglesey Antiquarian Society, Llangefni, 1966, 203pp. An account of the Copper Industry of Parys Mountain between 1750 and 1850 during the early part of the Industrial Revolution. It follows its rise to being the world's largest copper mine to its decline under competition from elsewhere.
- Symons, John, ‘The Copper Mines of Cornwall: Property and Profit’, CHN Conference 2002, Worcester, summarising the report of the Parliamentary Committee on the Copper Industry, 1799.
- Tylecote, R. F., 'The Prehistory of Metallurgy in the British Isles', Institute of Materials, 1986, 257pp. ISBN 0 904357 72 4. Twenty chapters dealing with each of the metals and their methods of extraction and fabrication. Sites of 55 main British copper mines in operation from pre-Roman to medieval times are mapped and described. Examples of excavated furnaces and recovered artefacts abound with full chronology.
- Williams, C. J. ‘Great Orme Mines’, British Mining No 52, Northern Mines Research Group, May 1995, 57pp. ISBN 0 901450 43 X.
American Mining & Industry
- Glasscock, C. B. ‘The War of the Copper Kings’. Blue Ribbon Books, New York, 1935, 314pp.
- Grant, E. S., ‘Yankee Dreamers and Doers’, Pequot Press, ISBN 87106 127 9, 269pp. A brief history of the manufacturing towns of Connecticut.
- Kauffman, H. J., 'American Copper and Brass', Masthof Press, 1968, second edition 1995, 288pp 23 refs., ISBN 1-883294-22-3. Very useful survey of the development of the industry in USA before describing products of coppersmiths and brassfounders in detail. List of coppersmiths.
- Marcusson, Isaac F., ‘Anaconda’ Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1957, 370pp, 57-9380
- Marcosson, I. F., 'Copper Heritage', Dodd, Mead & Co., 1955, 254pp, The History of Revere Copper and Brass Inc. in excellent detail. (Many other organisations have published their histories as limited editions that make interesting reading.)
- McNelis, Sarah, ‘Copper King at War: The Biography of F. Augustus Heinze’, University of Montana Press, 1968, 230pp.
- Place, Marion T. ‘The Copper Kings of Montana’, Landmark Books, New York, 1961, 184pp. Library of Congress No 61-7779.
- Shoebotham, H Minar ‘Anaconda: Life of Marcus Daly, the Copper King’, Stackpole Co., Pennsylvania 1956 220pp.
- Stevens, H. J., ‘The Copper Handbook’ Vol. V., Horace J Stevens, Michigan, 1904, 882pp.
How to Identify Numbers on Brass From India
When trying to identify Indian numbers on brass, all that is necessary is a chart to translate the numerals from Indian numerals into Arabic numerals (the historical name of our numerical system). An important distinction to understand is that a "numeral" is a single written digit, while a "number" is the quantity represented by the numerals. Indian numbers are written the same way as Arabic ones, left to right. Indian numbers use zero, as well.
Visit website (see References) to refer to chart.
Find any of the numerical symbols from the chart on the brass. They will all be from a single row.
Translate each Indian numeral into modern Arabic numerals (our numeral system), writing the modern Arabic numerals down one at a time in the order they appear, left to right.
Read the number you have written down. This is the translation of the Indian number.
If you are trying to determine the provenance or value of an antique, make sure you get an expert opinion.
Bob Romanov has been writing since 1990, specializing in music technology and video games. He makes music professionally and has built several of his own electronic instruments. He is an authority on all kinds of video games, from vintage Atari 2600 to the newest generation of console and PC games. Romanov holds a bachelor's degree from Goddard College.
Marks makers antique india brass
How to Identify Brass Antique Markings
For centuries artisans have been placing their marks on the works they have created, whether in porcelain, glass, silver, gold, stoneware or brass. A maker’s mark is like the artist’s signature on a painting. It is a way to identify the creator’s work and reputation while conveying a certain standard of quality. Maker’s marks were often stamped or carved into each piece. The most sought-after brass antiques are candlesticks and andirons (metal support for fireplace logs) from the 18th and 19th centuries. If you wish to determine the age and maker of your antique piece, it will be helpful to know how to identify brass antique markings.
Determine if your piece is actually brass and not copper. Both brass and copper will acquire a greenish-blue patina with age and oxidation, which can make proper identification of an antique piece difficult. Generally the most effective way to distinguish brass from copper is by color: copper typically exhibits the color of a new penny--kind of an orange, almost reddish color. Brass has much more yellow to its shade, more like gold.
Examine your brass antique item to locate the maker’s mark. If the creator marked the finished piece, most likely it will be stamped or etched into the metal somewhere. Often times the maker’s mark will be on the base of the piece, inside a lid or on the back of a handle.
Take a picture or make a sketch of the maker's mark. For items like andirons, this will be useful if you need to consult with local antique dealers for help identifying the creator of your piece. Having a photo or drawing will be much easier than hauling around a heavy brass item.
Search through print and online resources of maker’s marks. The local library or Robert E. Eliason’s Early American Brass Makers may be valuable resources, especially if any history is known about your brass antique. The website Antique-Marks.com has a very comprehensive antique marks glossary which can help narrow down the maker of a piece. Marks4Silver.com offers an online library of over 12,000 confirmed makers’ marks on silver, jewelry and metalware, including brass artifacts.
Extend your research to local antique shops and dealers, or visit an antiques show. Knowledgeable antiques dealers are often willing to offer an abundance of free information. They may also be able to direct you to other valuable resources that can help you identify brass antique markings.
With your online research, focus more on informational sites than buying and selling websites.
- With your online research, focus more on informational sites than buying and selling websites.
Based in California, Debbie Donner is a freelance online writer who primarily writes articles related to personal finance. Donner received a Mensa scholarship in 2006 while attending California State University, Fresno. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in liberal arts and a multiple-subject teaching credential.
- Gates coolant hoses
- Bbc running dog shirt
- Cns healthcare orlando
- Winking emoji images
- 2012 worship songs
- Curved tv repair
- Kenmore refrigerator schematic
- Etsy busy board
- 1604 expansion project
- Potential 10x stocks