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Vintage copper questions grab-bag

betsy_VA | Apr 10, 201804:41 AM

I've been doing some eBay and Etsy shopping for vintage copper pieces and have some questions for the hive mind.

1) Some copper pots and pans have brass handles and some (supposedly) have bronze. Is there a way to tell the difference visually? Do these materials imply the age of the pot?

2) What do the terms "planished" and "hammered" really mean? I thought planished meant a hammered/rippled/wavy surface finish, but to a certain copper expert of my acquaintance it means a smooth finish, and this got me thinking. The definition of "to planish" is "to flatten (sheet metal) with a smooth-faced hammer or between rollers." Seems to me that's a technique that could produce either a hammered or smooth finish. And then there's "hammered" -- it seems also to be used to describe copper that has been hammered into shape (vice spun or stamped, I suppose), without reference to the surface finish. I know these terms are going to be thrown around eBay and Etsy with abandon but in the interest of being reasonably correct, what are the generally accepted definitions?

3) Does rivet color/material imply the type of lining of the pot? I've been assuming that copper rivets imply tin lining and silver-colored rivets imply stainless. What about nickel lining -- which rivets are commonly in use?

Thank you all so much!

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