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Metals (A) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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ALLOY: A compound produced by the mixture of two or more metals, effected by fusion.

AMERICAN PEWTER: See PEWTER, American.

AMERICAN SILVER: See SILVER, American.

ANDIRONS: Also called FIREDOGS (q.v.). Until late in the 17th century all fireplace fittings, including andirons, were made of iron. Prior to the beginning of the 15th century when cast iron was first introduced, fire dogs were made of wrought iron. Andirons, usually, are made with jog or curve in the shank, which makes one right-hand, the other left-hand, and usually, too, with a knob on the upper surface of the shank to hold the log in place. Old andirons may be identified by the iron bolt welded to the log support directly under the uprights. The modern ones are fastened with a regular nut and bolt. Andirons are made in various sizes and in various patterns.

ANGEL: The Angel mark on pewter is of Continental origin, broadly speaking. It is seldom seen on English pewter. This touch-mark is used in conj unction with the maker's mark. The Angel may be flying, or standing with a palm branch in hand or with sword and scales. The use of this mark was strictly reserved for metal of the finest quality. It was adopted throughout most European countries, except France, as a sign of the very best, from the middle of the 17th century.

ANTIMONY: A metal much used for alloys, particularly in fine old pewter. It is a brittle metal of a bluish white color and does not tarnish or rust. It is obtained principally from Borneo and China and is also to be found in various parts of this country and Europe.

APOSTLE SPOONS: See SPOONS.

APPLIQUE: A piece of metal cut out and fastened to another piece-applied. See CUTCARD WORK. etc., with 25% antimony in the alloy, which gave the required hardness.

ASTRAL LAMP: The name given to a lamp with the Argand burner-improved by Count Rumford, late 18th century. See BURNERS, LAMP.