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The original purpose of Nathaniel Currier’s prints was:

to create affordable wall art.
to document news events..
to practice lithography.
                     To see the answer

Currier & Ives' America
by Walton Rawls

In the 1800s-long before the days of photojournalism and cable news-vibrant, contemporary depictions of news events, portraits of prominent political and social figures, and scenic views of the American wilderness were circulated throughout the growing nation. From the beginning of the exciting century that saw a small nation expand into a mighty world power, the famous lithographic firm of Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives produced over 7,000 prints, capturing scenes of American life in vivid detail.

                                   
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Here you'll find articles about caring for your antiques and collectibles. 

LATEST ARTICLE____________________________________

Caring for Metal Antiques
by Bob Brooke

 

Part of collecting antiques is caring for them. Next to paper ephemera, antiques made of metal are some of the most volatile types of materials. Items made of metal require care and maintenance to keep them in stable condition.

Antique metal is susceptible to rust leading to an unsightly appearance and lower value. There are several ways to remove rust with all-natural solutions from your kitchen. Items like ketchup, vinegar, baking soda and table salt are pantry staples that can restore your antique metal pieces to their original shine.

But using the right cleaning materials is only half the solution. Using the right technique to remove stubborn rust stains is also important to avoid unwanted reactions to your metal antiques.

Removing Rust from Iron and Steel
One of the best rust removers is ordinary white vinegar. The acid in it easily lifts the rust due to due to the iron oxide displacing the hydrogen ion in the acid. Combine that with lime juice and the citric acid from the lime will double the effect without corroding the metal under the rust. Adding salt to the mix gives this cleaning solution abrasive qualities. Apply with a wire sponge scrub pad to remove easy-to-remove rust.



To proceed, loosen the rust with the scrub pad, then dab a section of a paper towel in the vinegar and rub it on. Leave this on for at least a half hour. Remove any rust with the scrub pad. For added cleaning, combine the lime juice and salt to create a thick paste, then rub it into the remaining rust using the scrub pad. After rinsing with water, dry thoroughly.

Cleaning and Maintaining Copper, Brass, and Bronze
Copper and its alloys, brass and bronze, have long been used to create useful items—pots, swords, daggers, and also sculptures. Bronze was probably the earliest of metals to be used. Copper, a softer metal, was a principal in trade in the Mediterranean. The Romans minted coins from brass. Most collectors will have copper, brass, and bronze items from the 17th and 18th centuries—bed warmers, candlesticks, and other useful and decorative items. In ancient times, bronze was the metal of choice for armor and weapons.

Copper and brass are perhaps the most commonly found in collectible antiques while bronze appears more in ancient objects. Both are easily cleaned using commercial cleaning products like Brasso. But can also be cleaned using regular household solutions.

To clean copper objects, mix one-part flour with one-part salt. Add enough vinegar to the dish to make a spreadable paste. Spread the mixture over the copper item and let it sit for 30 minutes, then buff a paper towel or soft terry towel until it shines.

Because the beauty of antique bronze depends on its patina, it should never be disturbed. An uneven one designates an authentic piece while one with an even patina is usually a fake. About the only thing bronze objects need is an occasionally dusting. Above all, do not use ammonia to clean bronze as it’s an etching agent for it.

Experts advise lacquering copper, brass, and bronze antiques to protect them.

To read more of my articles, please visit my Web site.

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