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Metal Antiques - Bronze

[Indispensable Metals]  [Pewter]  [Brass]  [Bronze]  [Copper]  [Iron]  [Tinware] 

( Originally Published 1963 )

Still another alloy is bronze. It consists of tin, copper, and zinc, and is both strong and malleable. As a rule, bronze pieces were finished by being cleaned in acid and then lacquered or gilded.

Bronze was not particularly important in America until the Victorian age. In France, bronze for many centuries had been almost as important as the products of the silversmith. Elaborate chandeliers, candlesticks, boxes for snuff, and other things frequently were outstanding when made of bronze.

Among the things that made Empire furniture look different were its bronze mounts and ormolu decoration (ormolu is gilded bronze). They ornamented Empire furniture made here as well as in France and the rest of Europe. The long Victorian era that followed the Empire period saw more things of bronze made here as well as imported. For example, American clockmakers turned out ornate clocks that combined bronze with marble. Candlesticks and candelabra either were all bronze or bronze mounted on marble bases. Bronze animals and busts took their deserved share of space among Victorian bric-a-brac too.

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