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Copper Candlestick?

Started by wds, April 25, 2011, 06:33:59 PM

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I saw this WE candlestick on Ebay, and noticed that it looked like it might be made out of copper.  Has anyone seen a copper candlestick?  Would this be solid copper, or just copper plated?  Can't quite make out the model # - maybe 20BE?


There are a couple possibilities I can think of. One, it is copper, though not very likely because copper is too soft. The other is that it was nickel plated once and someone stripped the nickel. Sort of a reverse electroplating procedure. When brass is plated with another metal, it is usually given a thin plated layer of copper first to help another metal adhere. Way back when, the flash layer of copper could be rather heavy. Back when I did metal work, I sometimes stripped bad plating and lightly polished the copper surface then lacquered it to keep it bright.

If you buy this, I wouldn't recommend buffing the metal if you want to keep the copper look.

One other possibility that just occurred to me is that it is made from rose brass, an alloy that contains more copper than usual.


Most candlesticks were made from brass and either painted black or nickel plated .  The early20-AL was painted with "japan" which is an asphalt-like varnish and later candlesticks were painted with enamel.   One exception was the WECo 40-AL that had a steel base and shaft with chemical scale finish called Bower Barff.



There have been examples of other copper Western Electric items, such as ringer boxes displayed here, so I thought maybe it was possible that WE also made some copper candlesticks.  I don't plan on purchasing the phone, but I wouldn't mind getting my hands on this one to find out.


It looks to me like the nickel is worn down and the brass is showing through, or maybe just the lighting, and/or patina.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
TCI /ATCA #4409

Jim Stettler

I had an AE Stick that was heavily  chromed and then copper plated. It looked sharp.

This  was a telephone to lamp (w/plating) and then back to phone conversion.

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