23 June 2016

Copper - man's eternal metal

Copper is one of the oldest metals to be used by humans ca. 8,000 BC and was the first metal to be purposefully alloyed with other metals, like with tin to form bronze. One of the things that makes copper so special is that it is 100% recyclable, without loss of any quality in the process. It is also cheaper to recycle copper than to mine new copper, and it is estimated that 1/80 of all copper ever mined remains in use today. Due to its versatility and sturdiness, copper is referred to as "man's eternal metal".

Copper has a variety of uses, and being such a beautiful element it is commonly used in the arts and for jewellery. According to some traditional knowledge, copper bracelets are believed to relieve arthritis symptoms among other aliments. The therapeutic value has been recorded in legend for hundreds of years. One of the earliest records is found within the ancient Egyptian 'Ebers Papyrus', an early collection of natural healing remedies and one of the world's oldest books. Nowadays a number of European countries use copper complexes in medication to treat inflammatory diseases.

Recently we have been searching through Grays and have discovered some beautiful Copper objects:

18th century copper solid casting with the raised central figure of the four- armed Virabhara. Available from M Wood

A German gilt copper Herrengrund tumbler cup. c1740. Available from P & R Szuhay

A Tibetan copper gilt figure of Amitayus with coloured stones. 10th-15th Century AD. Available from Guest and Gray.

Hand-beaten copper tea box c1880. Available from Hallmark

Copper and silver tazza with four silver rose motifs and inset with mother-of -pearl plaques. Available from Van Den Bosch

One-off large handmade Copper Inkwell by Rathbone, c1880-1900. Available from Hallmark.

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