Have a Happy, Brassy Holiday

By Lisa McCormack


The gold, yellow and brown hues of vintage or antique brass bring warm accents to holiday décor, and contrast beautifully with any color scheme. Imagine brass reindeer brightening your display of pine boughs and acorns, or a brass bud vase with a sprig of mistletoe for a small space that needs attention. Christmas candlelight falling on a brass bowl filled with oranges and walnuts creates a soft, elegant glow on your mantle or table.


Brass, an alloy of two-thirds copper and one-third zinc, offers varying shades depending on slight differences in the amount of each metal, and the additions of other metals. A touch of magnesium, for example, gives brass a browner tone. The designs and color variations are fun to watch as you search for those one-of-a-kind brass items.


Brass accessories abound at GasLamp.  My favorites include this old brass deer in Booth B-225 for $135 (photo, above right). The highly tactile design includes a wavy coat of fur, dramatic antlers and a puffed-up chest worthy of a French aristocrat. Such handmade brass was the norm until about 1825, when the first cast brass objects began to appear. The elegance a detailed piece of brass brings to a room can burnish a whole mantel, even if it is just a dash of décor.


For gift-giving or decoration, consider this vintage brass handkerchief holder for $21 in Booth B-106 (photo, left). It’s perfect for the collector of vintage hankies. Another gift idea is this set of three vintage brass leaves in Showcase S-540 for $85 (photo, right). The leaves are from the Virginia Metalcrafters, dated 1948. The patterns were created by Oskar Hansen, whose work also includes the huge angels at Hoover Dam.


For other gifts, a General Electric brass-bladed fan circa 1922 sells for $490 in Showcase 524, and a brass coffee urn can be found in Showcase 48 for $75. And check out these two fellows, handsome takes on Rodin’s “Thinker,” in the photo, left.


Candle holders are popular collectibles. They range in price from thousands of dollars for hand-crafted antiques that were made in two pieces and soldered together to under $15 dollars for newer items. Booth B-225 offers a variety of candle holders, including these solid brass flower-top candlesticks that sell for $138, set of three (photo right). A gilded female art nouveau candle holder for $145 also caught my eye in Booth B-230.


You’ll find a plethora of brass at GasLamp to warm up your holiday décor and enliven your gift-giving. So here’s to a happy, brassy holiday this year.













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