Many collector’s items are made of metal or with metal parts. These can be precious metals such as gold and silver, copper alloys such as bronze or brass, iron and steel, or modern metals such as aluminium. We encounter metals from prehistoric times to the present day, in archaeological objects, sculptures and other works of art, coins, and in countless objects of everyday life.
In a scientific study we distinguish between qualitative analysis (the identification of the metal or the components of an alloy), quantitative analysis (determining the exact composition of an alloy), and the microscopic study of the structure of the metal (metallography).
Real gold or just brass? Silver or tin plating? Ancient or modern bronze? Cast or forged? Do two metal objects have the same composition? What are the characteristic impurities? Analysis of the metal gives the answers.
Metallography also reveals the craftsman’s know-how. Is a steel of good quality? Has it received a sophisticated heat treatment? What technique was used for the gilding of a bronze? What were the manufacturing and decorative techniques used to create a complex piece of jewelry, and what does this tell us about its origin?
There are many questions. It will be our pleasure to study your metal objects and tell you their story.