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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bright Copper Kettles . . . .

In The Sound Of Music,
when Maria sings about her favorite things,
I doubt anyone thinks of this
when she sings of "bright copper kettles:"

 Good grief, I can hear you thinking.
What the heck is that?

It is a copper kettle, and it has seen better days.

It was made by hand, and it's been repaired many times,
but by now it's got little holes in its coppery bottom,
and is cracked in the spout (aren't we all?).   It has more boo-boos than I can count.
 That lumpy gray stuff might be old soldering attempts,
or it might be old copper polish left by my mother's attempts to clean up this orphan.
 My Aunt Lillian gave this kettle to my mother many years ago.
Mom loved it, and kept it in the living room, and twice a year
would tackle the much-dreaded job of polishing the monster.
You can get peeks at the original color on the underside of the lid handle.
As it has sat in the beach house, unpolished, for quite some years, it's taken on a heavy
coat of -- shall we politely call it patina?  And now here's my dilemma:
What do I do with this dear old piece?
Should I try and get it sparkling, or will just "not black and icky" do well enough?

The dark look is not left from decades past; it's left from the time my Mom stopped polishing it.
It's not a valuable patina of age.

Any hints as to age?  Blog folk are so knowledgeable!

It can't be centuries old, as it's cut in at the bottom to rest in the open hole of a wood or coal stove. 
But I'd love to know more about it.  I've searched the Internet without much luck.

Meanwhile, it being Wednesday, let's show off a bit of red!

In our red powder room, the first wreath for Christmas is hung:

 We're getting ready!

Happy Rednesday to you.
Visit Sue at It's A Very Cherry World to revel in more Red.  Click here!

 Have a lovely Wednesday.  If you are in our neck of the woods, stay warm!  -- Cass


  1. It's a beautiful kettle, out of curiosity, I would shine it up! :-)


  2. Barnes & Noble has tons of books in the Antique Reference Guide section on every possible topic(s) you can imagine ... there is one on copper that you may find a bit of history for this piece.

    Honestly, I'd NEVER touch the beauty she has acquired over the years ... there are so many wonderful things you can do with her to add some pretty & spunk to her with decorating touches & florals.

    Have a lovely Christmas week ~
    TTFN ~ Marydon

  3. I love the wreath, and as for the tea kettle, I'd probably leave it as is. Just hang on to the memories.

  4. I would shine the kettle. It would make it much more eye catching in a vignette display.


  5. Love your old copper teapot! I too got out my old old copper kettles and shined them up for a blog post(I just love Julie Andrews singing "My Favorite Things) It took a lot of elbow grease, and they didn't come out as shiny as I hoped. I'm sure the right kind of polish means everything, I just used what I had. I'd sure try polishing it though! Shiny copper is so pretty!

  6. I think it could use a good shine - it will be transformed!


  7. Personally, I like "patina", I can so relate! God bless Rachel Ashwell and the advent of Shabby Chic!! I wear my personal patina like a badge. : )

  8. Cass -- try Wright's Copper Cleaner -- I've never used any better -- one swipe and the tarnish is gone!!!! I was amazed for I had used many different kinds before and it was always a lot of elbow grease -- not so with Wright's!

  9. Cass- See that Martha chick just above me? yeah? She knows what she is talking about...that is all I EVER use on Copper..On brass- I don't like it so much...but Copper...amazing! It is really an unusual looking pot though, isn't it? Love all the attempts to "fix" it...they just add to the charm. As for me...I would probably clean it because I like copper to show its true colors...or aged to Verdi's the in-between stuff I don't like! ps...LOVE YOUR WREATH- Hugs-diana

  10. Don't know much about the kettle. Sorry.
    I do love your wreath though.


  11. Good Evening Cass....Now girl you know how I love antiques and so this is only my 2 cents on this piece...It's from ca. before civil war and it was made in Lancaster, Penn Amish country...It has what is called a dovetailed body, Circular finial, goose neck spout and a swing handle...Maybe you can get more information from what I can looks to be about 12 1/2 inches tall??? If it is what I think it is from C. Keifer...It's worth about $1000.00- $800.00 in this condition...
    Any hoo I'm no expert just a collector of 30+ years...Love your wreath and up against the red wall WOW!!
    I so want to red just one wall in my DR red...but King Kong aka Len thinks it's a violent color ha ha!!
    Hope your Dad is doing great my dear friend...Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  12. Now Ms. Gloria knows her stuff! It is a lovely old pot, with or without the shine. Tackle it only if you have time & energy...two things in scarce supply around here lately.

    Your wreath looks awesome on that wall!!!! I, too, always wanted a red dining room wall. Ain't gonna happen in this lifetime. *sigh*

  13. I wouldn't touch the vintage look of this precious kettle.... hugs, Flavia

  14. What a treasure in that Kettle. It oddly looks like I feel most days. I think it is beautiful as it is.

  15. Cass,

    The act of polishing the kettle was the tradition not the color of it. I would keep up Mom's tradition. Either way, it's a sweet memory.

    Thank you for your kind words and your friendship. I know you understand.

    I won't be done decorating until this weekend.

    Your Friend,

  16. Your old kettle is just beautiful with patina or shined. Martha, is right, I use Wrights also and it works wonders. Either way your kettle is lovely and that wreath, oh my, it is beautiful and fun.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  17. Hi from the Jersey Shore! :) Brrrr, it's cold here on the boardwalk!

    Anyway, surely you have seen the following scenario on Antiques Roadshow:

    One of the Keno's says, "Well Mrs. Smith, your 18th century armoire is worth $250,000. But unfortunately, since you cleaned it, the value has been reduced to $15.96." lol

    Value aside, I think your kettle looks charming as is.


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