For thousands of years, we have used metals such as brass, bronze, copper, pewter, iron, and tin to create everything from household objects and jewellery to industrial machinery and artworks.
Here at Brass Décor, we adore brass, and we are thrilled that it is back in fashion. Brass antiques are beautiful, and they are also hard-wearing, affordable, and rich with history. Here’s everything you need to know about antique brass.
What is antique brass?
Brass is formed from a blend of copper, zinc, and other minor elements. Each piece of brass may look slightly different. This is because brass’s essential blend alters depending on its intended use. From fireplace equipment to lighting fixtures, more copper results in a rosier colour, more tin resulted in a paler brass.
More about brass
Brass is more robust than copper and less likely to fatigue, making it a common material choice for decorative domestic wares. Most antique brass dates back to the mid-18th century when Birmingham was the UK’s main metalworking centre. Brass antiques made after the 19th century typically display a rougher finish. A pair of genuine antique brass candlesticks from the 19th century can fetch hundreds of dollars, depending on their style and age.
What colour is antique brass?
As we mentioned before, variations in the composition and alloys of brass can change the colour of each piece of brass. While colour variations are common, antique brass is generally a heavy, deep golden brown. It is not naturally bright and shiny.
How do you clean antique brass?
Tarnishing is relatively typical with vintage and antique brassware. Brass is naturally prone to oxidisation as it reacts to skin oils and oxygen in the air. This can be cleaned off. Your piece of brass may have been lacquered at some point to prevent tarnishing, but over the years, this can result in uneven wear. Older items may also show patches of dullness or small cracks.
Regular polishing will keep your brass antiques well maintained. We recommend cleaning brass by hand. Apply brass and copper polish with cotton wool and use a soft cloth to remove it. Don’t be tempted to create a household alternative as cleaning solutions such as lemon juice and baking soda will destroy your piece’s patina and avoid using water to clean your brass. Water can seep into the solder of the brass and erode it.
The Brass Décor team can bring help you with any questions you may have about your antique brass.
Why choose Brass Décor in Perth for your antique brass?
Our friendly and experienced staff will bring new life to your old brass hardware and accessories. Brass Decor has been working with interior designers, architects, and home renovators in Perth for over 25 years. Brass Decor is Perth’s period lighting specialist. We can help create a lighting plan to suit any renovation or restoration from Federation, Edwardian, Victorian, and Colonial to Art Deco, Hamptons style, and Modern homes.
Contact us for advice regarding your antique brass.