New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

News of Newman Brothers Coffin Fittings Works spreads far and wide!

Posted August 9th, 2010 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with No Comments

One of the items in the Dutch Open Air Museum collection

An item from the collection in the Dutch Open Air Museum

We were contacted by Hans Piena, a Conservator at the National Dutch Open Air Museum. He has a crate of large stamped brass ornaments, some of them a foot long and up to 4 inches wide. His research led him to us to ask us if they were coffin fittings. He sent us these photographs to help us identify the objects.

We don’t think these are coffin fittings as they don’t match anything in our collection. Elizabeth Perkins thinks they may be architectural decorations, similar to the tin pressed ceilings found in America, but it is unusual to find them in brass. They would look good around a mirror or polished up on a wall as a decorative feature. Hans has replied that he has found paperwork to suggest that the items were used as picture or mirror frames. Can anyone throw any light on the way these objects were used?

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