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Vintage pewter brooch pendant

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    Posted 6 years ago

    (149 items)

    I always find some interesting items in charity shops, they often cost next to nothing and make me curious about their origin. For example like this brooch. Approximately 2'' wide, no marks. The metal is possibly pewter, however I'm not very sure about it. I'm even less sure about its age, it might be vintage, but can be quite recent. It has a round hinge and a C hook.
    Any info is greatly appreciated!!! :)))

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    1. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 6 years ago
      This brooch is older - the point of the pin extends past the edge of the brooch. The pin is made from steel. The hinge looks handmade rather than machine made. I would say this is the earlier part of the 1900s.

      I'm not sure that it's pewter - it could be silver. I see what look like marks on the back. Unless it's just matrixing. Anyway, on the second photo, on the left side of the brooch next to your finger I see what looks like a mark. On the right side of the brooch I see what looks like initials; DRD or something similar.

      I might just be wacky, but take a closer look at the back edges of this beautiful brooch.
    2. martika martika, 6 years ago
      Efesgirl - thank you for your quick info.
      No marks on the brooch, I checked it few times with a magnifying glass. Those lines just looks like a mark, but they are not. To test it for silver I put it into hot water with salt and aluminium foil. I read somewhere if it's silver I can expect bubbles. There weren't bubbles, but most of the black patina came off in flakes in 2-3 minutes and the process was smelly, like rotten eggs. Now the brooch looks cleaner and shinier. Is it a proof the brooch is silver or a pewter can be cleaned this way too?
      By the way thank you, Bonnie and TassieDevil for your love click!!!
    3. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 6 years ago
      I would take it to a jeweler for an evaluation.

      The cleaning method for silver is much different than for pewter:

      How It Works
      This simple setup isn't too far from an elementary-school science project. Using a glass baking dish lined with aluminum foil (shiny side up) or an aluminum baking dish, create a soak area for your silver.

      Combine the baking soda, salt, vinegar and boiling water and pour over silver into dish. The simple but showy chemical reaction should begin to remove the tarnish immediately. Heavily-tarnished pieces may need to soak a little longer.

      Utensils should come out quite fine with a good buffing with a dry cloth.

      Care and conservation
      How you care for your pewter depends on the appearance you wish to achieve and maintain.

      In daily use, pewter was kept bright and polished and some collectors prefer this appearance. Pewter does not tarnish like silver, so a periodic clean with an all-purpose metal (not silver) polish will keep it looking bright.

      Much old pewter is patinated and has a colour ranging from mellow silver to charcoal grey, a more ‘antique’ appearance favoured by many collectors, especially in Britain and Europe . It is possible to restore patinated pieces to a brighter and polished condition and there are degrees of restoration depending on whether a completely untarnished appearance is preferred or whether some signs of age, e.g. oxidation in joints, dents, etc., should be apparent.

      Oxidation on pewter varies according the composition of the alloy and even this composition can vary on individual pieces. Serious oxidation can eat right through the metal and eventually create holes, especially in sadware (dishes and chargers, for example). Expert guidance is needed if such pieces are to be restored. For other pieces, the following can be tried (although never on valuable pieces without practice or guidance).

      Washing with hot, soapy water will often remove a surprising amount of dirt and tarnish and should always be the first step.

      A light oxide can often be removed with a hard rub and repeated application of a proprietary metal (not silver) polish.

      Use of a fine grade of emery paper, say 600 grade, wet and dry. A coarser grade may be tried to begin with, working up to finer grades. Dark, hard-metal items will be slow to respond to this treatment, however, and several applications may be needed.

      Immersion in a solution of caustic soda will soften and remove oxide. This is an irreversible option and it is important to experiment with lengths of immersion on unwanted pieces before using seriously. Items should then be immersed in changes of clean water for several days after treatment to remove all traces of the chemical. Note – this is a dangerous chemical and should only be used with care and when wearing protective clothing. The resulting finish will be dull and it will be necessary to rub with progressively finer grades of emery paper followed by metal polish.

      Some restorers also use electrolysis to remove oxide but this is an even more skilled task.

      We repeat, never attempt to restore old or valuable pieces without guidance and practice on non-valuable/unwanted items!

      Finally, old and valuable pieces will benefit from an application of good quality neutral wax polish to enhance appearance and protect from further oxidation.
    4. martika martika, 6 years ago
      Wow Bonnie - you really make a big effort to help! :) Thank you, I appreciate it very much!
      I will take it to a jeweller for a test. I planning this already in ages.
    5. lentilka11, 6 years ago
      Great brooch and great advice from Efesgirl!
    6. Efesgirl Efesgirl, 6 years ago
      i see bits on there which look like red copper, so perhaps this is pewter. I guess we will know soon enough. I think this is for a coat, on the lapel. It's beautiful no matter what it's made of!
    7. martika martika, 6 years ago
      Thanks to everybody for stopping by and loving it! :)
    8. tigerchips tigerchips, 6 years ago
      Oh gosh, i have one very similar to this, with the same stick out pin and the same loop at the top. The pin has been hammered in. The decoration is different with it having a rose in the middle and leaves outside of that. There are no marks but it cleans up well with silver polish, probably shouldn't have cleaned it but then i thought it was modern.

    9. martika martika, 6 years ago
      Hi Tigerchips, maybe our brooches are from the same maker. If you want you can post it here on CW, I would like to see it :)
    10. tigerchips tigerchips, 6 years ago
      I posted it...

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