Brass what is it?
Hi there readers I as always hope all are well out there and hope some of you at least are still on the search for that next neat piece to add to your collections.
Before I start can I say that Tracy Rowe is having a sale and selling on some of his collection and included in the sale are FIVE very sought after Danbury mint pieces.
You can find details on my Facebook profile and page and for those that know the gentleman you can ask for an invite to the event through Mr Rowe.
So after doing a guest blog for pewter world I thought I would do another but on Brass how it’s made and what pieces are in the collection made of this gold looking material.
The two main raw materials needed to make this shiny metal are copper and zinc,And enhance the machinability of brass a small amount of lead is often added, other elements can be added for different styles of brass like manganese, aluminium, and even silicon.
Brass is used very much in industry due to its low friction point so anything with moving parts was or is usually made from this metal other applications using this metal are heavily in the musical instrument areas, the metal can produce a sound with some instruments you would not get if using other metals, the military also use brass in other applications like shell cases and gun parts and the reason for using this metal is because it’s a good metal to be used around sparks and flammable objects as it does not itself create sparks when stuck at.
Dating brass isn’t easy
In my research to date the material metal known as brass it took me back to prehistory but did say that the metal was not totally understood till the post medieval times where they learned to master crafting this metal by experimenting till the term brass and the materials used were now formally known.
The ancient Romans were probably the first to make and use brass extensively. They used brass to make coins, jewellery, decorations, and adornments for armour.
Due to its anti-corrosive properties, it was later used in ship production for its ability to hold up against water and salt.
This continued on over the centuries used as a popular form of metal alloy which then went on to help the growth of the Industrial Age and was also used way before as a decoration metal due to the golden colour it’s crowning glory and all thanks to the copper that’s mixed in.
There are up to thirty different types of brass registered as a metal and these are all achieved by mixing different percentages of the raw materials to create the differing kinds of Brass that then go on to be used depending on the application it was made for and the different colour types too from a very dull yellow through the gold spectrum and some even showing as brown in colour depending on that all important mix of raw materials.
Keep it clean
We all like to keep our pieces clean and cleaning brass is no exception if you want to acquire that beautiful shiny gold effect and as brass corrodes it’s advisable to clean your brass pieces from time to time, pictured above is a piece I obtained awhile ago and kept the picture you can see the process of oxidisation starting where the bulldogs head is starting to turn green in colour.
The easiest way to clean brass is Warm soapy water and then dried off and polished however if you have pieces that have oxidised then I would suggest looking up on how to remove it.
I say this as I do not know which brasses folks may have and some have different ways of cleaning of the green and if polished nicely will keep the corrosion at bay leaving a gleaming golden object catching the light as if it were made of real gold itself.
Brass what’s it worth
This gold looking metal does not have intrinsic value but saying that some pieces I have seen before have sold for quite high prices and I have met buyers/collectors that only collect brass objects for their collections.
I have found a selection from our collection to show you there are others we have like medals coins and jewellery based pieces but I thought it would be nice to show the bigger pieces now and when I do another blog on the bulldog jewellery we have I will include them then.
My personal opinion on brass is buy it if you like it I do not think there’s much investment in small brass pieces but vintage and antique pieces are well worth getting at the right price because brass in auction like most things comes in and out of fashion depending on what’s trending in the auction/antiques world.
So what do we have here
In the collection I have obtained many brass pieces some are rather cool and others just your run of the mill pieces and my first ever collectible was a large brass bulldog that had the same look and stance as the porcelain copper craft figurine that some may have in their collections.
I understand this metal is used not just for that golden look but as it’s easy to use and mould with its a preferred metal for mass produced pieces and as mentioned the colour for decoration.
I have noticed there are two main themes and those are either solid brass figurines or pieces that move like the door knockers I have presented.
Looking out for brass
If your an admirer of brass pieces there are many places to find objects you may fancy, most of the normal online sites have a selection to choose from charity and thrift stores, sometimes stock house clearance pieces and there’s always auction alerts for the more antique pieces.
As with my pewter collectibles, I have noticed that some of the more collectible pieces are from the USA the pieces are normally stamped so can be dated accordingly, where as in Europe not all brass is stamped so it’s hard to judge age and maker.
If anyone out there does collect only brass and has a collection we at Collectibulldogs would love to see it, doesn’t have to be bulldogs as such but it would be nice to see a full brass collection,we hope you enjoy the pieces we have shown and until next time folks happy collecting….