Friday 8 May 2020

Antique brass secrets, buying guide - tips & tricks explained

Antique brass - Secrets
Cooking in brass vessels offer great health benefits, to accrue them one has to select the right vessel, or else would end up with food spoilage, food turning rancid, food poisoning & metal poisoning.

As many buyers (& sellers) are unaware of the differences in the metallurgy of antique brass, The shocking truth is that all brass vessels sold are not food safe & not suitable for cooking..Lets get in to the details..

Antique brass is classified in to 3 types based on their composition & quality -
2.Tama &
Raja Brass is not suitable for cooking or storing but used in decor accents, while Tama is suitable for many foods but forbidden for few, while the best is 'Satva brass'
Back in those days they used different formulas for making different brass wares suitable for
1. Cooking foods
2. Cooking & Holding foods
3. Cook, Reheating & Serve foods
4. Dry food storers
5. Wet food storers
6. Non reactive storers
5. Decor & utility ware

In passage of time the art is lost. Now all brass are sold as cookware
(Recently i got shocked to see an online ad of an antique brass urination bed pan being listed as a Prasad pot😂 & another listing of a Kerala black magic brass bowl being listed as rare antique & in other listing a vessel exclusively meant for funeral ritual (To hold Ash of deceased listed as Pooja article)., This was the reason i forced myself to make this awarness post...

Antique brass buying - Tips & Tricks explained
While buying antique brass utmost care should be taken..
1. Never buy polished antique brass vessels (Exception being Unused dowry collection) but nowadays i see mostly chemical polished, used brass being faked as unused dowry collection, which will invite diseases & not health, buy antiques in their original finish with patina, say no to polished ones, (polishing is mostly done to repair, hide defects in highly abused antique making them look new and shiny), brass is a metal which retains additives & takes long time to cleanse the chemicals & micro metal debris that stays in crevices of vessels during machine polishing, the vessel may look brand new but foods cooked in those are unpalatable loaded with toxins, in olden days when they buy new brass vessels they use to season it for 58 days with various herbal concoctions and then anoint them with castor oil to get rid of the metal toxins, but are we doing it now for these polished brass?.,
2. How to select: Before buying antique brass ask the elders (The generation who actually used them in daily life), do a research (Google helps most of the time), get expert advice, check for colour, weight, resonance (Sound arising when metal is struck in a way the longer the sound higher the quality - Ask for a video), check make method (Best being - Moulded, hammered, embossed), sealing (Riviting, zig zag hammering, welding), tin coating., one can always tell out the quality of brass by combination of the above
3. Buyer's should not blindly believe seller, but do check, ask history, origin, story & if all checks right then buy them, as many online sellers simply copy & paste the description from others so beware, as they have no idea what they sell 😉., just a few questions will reveal the truth

4. Buy regional antiques from the regional sellers who source them directly, for eg- if you want an Uruli, buy it from a seller from the state of origin - Kerala, if you want Red Sanders marapachi buy from Andhra seller, If you want Bhuta mask buy from a Karnataka seller - this way you can be sure you get to know the real use, history, origin, cultural significance & above all at the right price..

5. Trust your intuition- its a fact that "Antiques finds its owner & chooses its home" and it should not be like "I bought an antique", so never buy impulsively or yield to persuations by seller, it should happen spontaneous & you should feel the connect..

1 comment:

  1. Brass is really the most useful and beneficial for health. Brass metal has been used for cooking and eating from ages because it is non reactive and doesnot harm us. It also has a huge antique value in the market.
    Online Antique Valuation


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