Did you know that metal such as brass, bronze, copper, pewter, iron and tin have been used to create anything from household objects to industrial machinery pieces for centuries. There are a lot of antique and vintage metals and brassware available on the market today and collectors are always looking to find new hidden treasures. This article will provide you with the information you need to go about finding the value and history of your antique metalware/brassware.
Identify The Age Of Brassware
The first step to determining the value of your item is to find out whether or not it is actually solid brass. Get a magnet and hold it close to your item to test the metal. Solid brass will not have a magnetic pull, it is and alloy of copper and zinc. However if it does have a pull then it is definitely brass plated steel or iron. This is a good indicator of age as antique brass will be solid so therefor have no magnetic pull.
How metal and brassware are valuable based on their surfaces
With a higher ratio of zinc, bronze will appear more yellow in color. This can be seen in doorknobs or other household objects that have high durability ratings. If your item has a higher percentage of copper, which is usually present in jewelry, the color will appear more reddish-orange.
Oxidization from skin oil (being handled) and oxygen can cause the brass to tarnish over time. You can clean the tarnished brass off, but you must be sure to ask a professional before acting. Lacquer can be used to temporarily prevent tarnishing as well but over time it can result in spots of dryness, wear, or cracks.
Condition Of Metalware
As with most things antique or collectable, the value of metal and brassware objuects change based on the condition of the item. While some signs of age are expected, any scratches or damage would decrease the value. Antiques should show a certain level of wear which can even speak for their age but clear damage to the piece that should not be there can be detrimental to the value of your item.
If a piece of metalware like brassware is over 100 years old (19th century and earlier), it is more likely to hold great value. This is due to the rareity of early metalware.
Rarity And Age Of Metal And Brassware
The rarity of an item on the marketplace determines its worth. Pieces made earlier than 19th century are rare and have more value, while those that were created between 19th and 20th century tend to be less valuable due to mass production and there for a decline in quality. The exceptions are pieces from 20th century that are associated with some artistic movements. Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Bauhaus, for example, can still have great market value despite being made more recently.
Get An Expert Appraisal
If you have a piece of metalware/brassware and would like it valued then we’d be more than happy to help. We have specialists who’s expertise lie in metalware who have carried out thousnds of both online and in-person antique appraisals over the yers. Press start now to get started today!