Indian Antique Brass Vases

Brass Vase Indian Antiques

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that has a bright gold appearance when new or a weathered patina when older. Its firm yet workable texture allowed many Indian craftspeople to create decorated vases in ancient times. Brass vases in India typically have distinctive engravings or detail work that features flowers, animals, vines, script, or religious figures.

What methods are used to decorate antique Indian vases?

The nation has a history of metal crafts that dates back over 4,000 years. A combination of these traditional methods is used to create the elaborate designs on vases from India.

  • Casting: People using this process seal wax to create a mold. This method allows metalsmiths to create very precise decor.
  • Etching: In this process, the craftsperson uses sharp tools to carve a decorative design into the pot or vase. The end result is a three-dimensional design.
  • Inlaying: This is a method that involves carefully fitting gems or enamel into the item. It produces bright colors and intricate works.
  • Painting: For additional color and detail, some vintage brass vases have painted sections on the metal.
Where were antique brass Indian vases made?

During the 1600s through the 1900s, much of the brass used for Indian vases was actually imported from Wales. However, some workshops did continue to make their own brass through traditional Indian methods. Once the metal was procured, vases were made by individual craftsmen or by larger workshops scattered throughout India. Most brassware was produced in the Kamrup and Telangana areas. In some cases, you may be able to find a makers mark to show you the exact city where it was produced.

How do you clean vintage brass vases?

Brass gradually corrodes over time, resulting in a darkened brownish or greenish patina. Some collectors keep this patina, but you can make the object brighter again with these cleaning tips:

  • Consider the material: Check to make sure that the object is really brass and see if it has any paint, enamel, lacquer, or inlaid designs. Anything that is not solid metal may require a trip to a specialist in cleaning antiques.
  • Soak the item: Combine equal parts warm water and white vinegar, and let the antique pot soak in the mixture for a while. This will loosen debris, and it is particularly useful if your piece has lots of etching.
  • Scrub off loose grime: Use a soft brush to thoroughly scrub the pot from India after it soaks.
  • Remove excess oxidation: You can use a mixture of lemon juice and salt to further scrub off the patina, or you can try a modern brass cleaner if you desire.
  • Rinse off cleaners: Use plain water to rinse off any residue left behind by cleaning.
  • Dry your antique pot: Gently pat the vintage item to remove surface moisture and let it air-dry.