Tombacs are copper-based and zinc-based alloys with a very high copper content from at least 80%. Tombac was used above all in Bohemia for its world-renowned antique garnet jewellery, the Bohemian Garnet. Tombac, also golden-coloured according to alloy, was cleverly called ‘the gold of the poor people” in the Biedermeier period and Historicism.
Totally unimpressed by it, we as art historians also speak of masterly jewellery when antique brass and tombac jewellery is concerned! Less attention and refinement has on no account been given to this jewellery in design than pieces of gold, silver and platinum. Rather, it is very nice to see how excellently preserved antique tombac and brass jewellery is still today. In contrast to the also popular gilt jewellery, during the aforementioned epochs, there is no loss of the colour character in-with tombac and rarely wear marks to deplore.
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