Friday, July 6, 2012

Pewter Cabinet Hardware: What's Your Flavor?

Pewter, although not necessarily pewter cabinet hardware, has been in use since the Bronze Age. Like bronze, pewter is an alloy that is produced by mixing two or more other metals. Bronze and pewter use the same ingredients mixed to a different recipe. Bronze is primarily copper mixed with a dash of tin. Conversely, pewter is primarily tin with a pinch of copper. Other elements may also be added to season the alloy but it is tin and copper that is of primary importance.

Initially, pewter has a bright silver sheen but it rapidly loses its luster and develops the subdued gray patina for which it is best recognized. It is the high tin content in pewter that gives pewter its mellow gray color. In addition to its contribution to color, having tin as a primary ingredient offers several other benefits:
  1. Because tin is a relatively inexpensive metal, it makes pewter more economical than many other alloys.
  2. Tin's melting point is approximately 450 degrees. Because tin melts at about the same temperature required to bake a frozen pot pie, pewter can be cast at relatively low temperatures.
  3. Tin is a soft metal. The reason copper and other elements are added to tin is to harden the resulting metal (pewter). Even with the stiffening ingredients, its high tin content makes pewter a malleable (shapeable) alloy.
Pewter has long been a popular choice for cabinet hardware. Its neutral gray color can adapt to traditional settings as well as contemporary settings. To extend its charm, low relief areas are often antiqued to highlight the intricate designs that can be cast in pewter cabinet hardware. Victorian era pewter cabinet hardware features elaborate patterns that are made possible by pewter's low melting point. Conversely, it is pewter's malleable qualities that allow it to be hammered to create cabinet hardware with the simple designs favored by the Arts & Crafts crowd. While it is the metallic qualities and geometric shapes that make pewter cabinet hardware appealing to modernists. Regardless of your architectural inclinations, pewter cabinet hardware's economical prices make it a favorite for all tastes.

Pewter Cabinet Hardware from Antique Revelry

Shop 4 Classics offers a large selection of pewter cabinet knobs, pewter bin pulls, and pewter cup pulls from Antique Revelry, MYOH, and Acorn Manufacturing. Visit Shop 4 Classics to see what’s cooking in pewter cabinet hardware.

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