Facts & Fiction:
known as pot metal, spelter, white metal, and even "french bronze". Soft,
does not take detail well. Brittle, not malleable; breaks if bent. Easy to
cast. Cast zinc pieces are usually hollow. Weighs 4.16 ounces per cubic inch.
alloy of copper and zinc, usually 50% copper, 50% zinc. Somewhat malleable; bends some without breaking.
Intermediate hardness, takes detail moderately well. Moderately easy to cast.
Weighs 4.94 ounces per cubic inch.
alloy of copper and tin. Without any applied patina, it is the same color
as some brass. Hard, takes detail very well. Brittle, not malleable; breaks
if bent. Difficult to cast. Weighs 4.71 ounces per cubic inch. Lesser grades
of bronze can also have some zinc in the alloy, resulting in properties closer
very heavy, it must be bronze. False.
The specific gravities (ounces per cubic inch) of these metals are
too close to distinguish by heft.
color identifies it as bronze. False.
Without an applied patina, bronze is the same color as some brass.
bronze because it's a "Vienna" or "Austrian" bronze. False. Most Vienna-Austrian Bronzes are actually yellow brass. The Technical Research Institute in Vienna reported in 1991 that the Bermann company has been using only yellow brass since 1850.
bronze because it's marked "Armor Bronze", "Pompeian Bronze", or "Marion
Bronze". False. These pieces
are zinc with a copper coating, produced by the "Electroformed" or "Galvano" process.
copper. Not if it's cast.
Most likely, it's zinc or cast iron with a copper plating.
pewter. Not if it's antique
cast sculpture, bookends, etc.. Most likely, it's zinc.