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How to clean candelabra made of the metal "Sable"


Years ago I purchased a pair of metal candelabra in Israel. Was told that they were "sable" metal, their origin from the then Soviet Union. In their tarnished condition, the metal has a golden-ish tinge (as opposed to looking silver which they definitely do not). Underneath around the unpolished inside edges of the base have a little greenish residue here and there. Does anyone know: What "sable" is? If not, how to determine what it might be? How to clean the candelabra?

Elaine Allen
homeowner - San Diego, California, USA

October 16, 2008

Hi, Elaine. I have not found anyone who is claiming "Sable" as a trademark or trade name. Rather, I think it's a generic term referring to brown-ish to black-ish patinas on brass and bronze.

You can check whether your candelabra is made of steel with a magnet. If so, then the brass/bronze finish is plated. If it's not magnetic, the candelabra is probably solid brass or bronze.

"Sable" seems pretty close to what we call "oil rubbed bronze" these days. It is a dark patina on the metal and may or may not be "relieved" (the highlights polished back to bronze while the depressed areas remain brown-black).

I believe you can clean it with brass polish, but go gently and start with the highlights because some amount of polishing will remove the patina. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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