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Cleaning an antique brass or copper dog

December 17, 2008

I have a copper or brass decorative dog which was my Grandmothers. She had it in her home in 1965 and I'm not sure how old it is. It did go through Hurricane Katrina and was recovered after 9 feet of water receded from our home. We cleaned it the best we could. Recently, I have noticed it has spots of oxidation and the leg is powdery blue green. The size of this dog is about 7 inches long by 5 inches tall. It originally was a shiny orangey gold color. How can I know if it is brass or copper and will it hurt if I clean it with Brasso?

Nancy Gillespie
owner - Waveland, Mississippi, USA

December 17, 2008

Hi, Nancy. Brasso [adv: item on eBay & Amazon] or other commercial brass cleaners won't hurt it. If it is very light gauge, it may be stamped copper, but that sounds unlikely because these dogs are often used to hold doors open. If it is quite heavy it is probably cast brass. If it's magnetic, though, it is cast iron with a brass or copper plating on it, and once the plating has been compromised it needs to be replated at a plating shop.


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

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