Brass

DEFINITION

An alloy of copper and zinc, usually with two to one proportion and with yellow or golden coloration. Because of the addition of zinc and sometimes small amounts of other metals, brass is stronger and harder than copper, but it is also malleable. Inscribed brass plates with descriptive information have been used traditionally to label formal or academic religious, historical and portrait paintings. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques" <br><br>The bright yellow or golden alloy of copper and zinc, in the proportion of about two parts of copper to one part zinc. The zinc makes brass stronger and harder than copper is alone. It is malleable and ductile, though variations in its composition make its properties variable. Also, incised plaques or tablets made of brass, many of which were made as memorials to the dead during the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Europe. Many of these have become so popular among people desiring to make rubbings (see frottage) of them that casts of the originals have been made to use this way in order to preserve the originals.The alloy of copper and tin is bronze, while alloys with both zinc and tin are called gunmetals. Many of the alloys that are described as bronze are actually brass.Examples of works in brass: Attributed to Khorasan, Eastern Iran, Seljuq, Brass Ewer, c. 1180-1210, repouss? brass, inlaid with silver and bitumen, height 15 3/4 x 7.5 inches (40 x 19.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See ewer.

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