The materials used in traditional furniture hardware accessories are mainly copper ornaments, and gold and silver are also used, but metal materials such as gold and silver are mainly in the form of gold and silver wires, metal sheets, gold foil, mercury, etc., which greatly strengthens the expressive power of its decorative arts and enriches its craft image.
Copper is the earliest metal known and widely used by human beings. It not only made great contributions to the splendid ancient civilization of human beings, but also is an important material basis for the splendid modern civilization. Copper is the earliest metal known and used by mankind, and it is also the first metal used by mankind to make tools. It has been recorded that humans have been using copper from homelessness to settlement, to agricultural production and livestock raising.
The earliest bronze utensils of human society were found in Anatonia more than 5,000 years ago, and the earliest bronze furnaces before 3,500 BC were unearthed in the Sinai Desert in the Middle East. In China, there were bronze wares in the Xia Yu period more than 4,000 years ago. So far, bronze coins, bronze mirrors, bronze tripods, bronze bells and other cultural relics from the Yin and Shang periods have been unearthed, which fully demonstrate the development of ancient Chinese society and the high wisdom of the ancestors of the Chinese nation. Copper has many valuable physical and chemical properties, such as high thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity, strong chemical stability, high tensile strength, easy sintering, corrosion resistance, plasticity, and ductility. Pure copper can be drawn into very thin copper wire to make very thin copper foil. It can form alloys with metals such as zinc, tin, lead, manganese, cobalt, nickel, aluminum, and iron. Pure copper is light rose or light red, and after the copper oxide film is formed on the surface, the appearance is red copper. This copper oxide film has better compactness, so the corrosion resistance of copper is also very good. Copper is a major material used in traditional furniture hardware.
Gold, a yellow rare metal with a beautiful metallic luster, shimmers with dazzling brilliance under strong light. The content of gold in the earth's crust is extremely rare, accounting for only one part in a billion. It exists in a free state and is difficult to mine and extract. The gold used by human beings is mainly natural gold nuggets and placer gold in rivers and lakes. Because gold is a precious metal, it is mainly made of very fine gold wire in ancient furniture hardware to inlay the patterns of copper ornaments, such as gold and silver inlaid, enamel and other processes, or made of gold amalgam (gold mud ), fixed on the surface of the copper ware, making the surface of the copper ornaments glittering, such as the gilding process, etc. There are very few hardware accessories alone, and there are a small amount of gold locks.
Silver, a precious metal, was called platinum in ancient times. The refining technology of silver is more complicated, so the production of silverware is later than that of goldware. Like silver, because it is a precious metal, in ancient furniture hardware accessories, it is mainly made of very fine silver wire to inlay the patterns of copper accessories, such as gold and silver, silver and other crafts.
Iron, mainly used in hardwood furniture in the Qing Dynasty, is mainly used for the joints of corners of furniture. The surface of iron ornaments is also sometimes inlaid with iron flowers and gold and silver wires to create various wonderful textures. For example, on the high-grade seat used by the emperor, there is a gold-plated metal piece with chisel pattern on the iron plate and gold and silver wire on the hammer.