Brass is an alloy that is made of copper and zinc. This material was discovered as far as in 2000BC in west Asian civilizations, though the use of brass extensively began in the roman civilization and the Indian civilizations. This was used as a material primarily for making statues.
Especially in India, brass has a very long heritage. It was used extensively by the sculptors of various regions to sculpt idols of gods. It was ideal for this because brass does not rust like iron nor does it need a lot of maintenance. While kings and ministers had their idols made in gold and silver, the common man who could not afford such luxuries had to make do with brass or bronze ones. They were intricately designed and had religious symbols engraved into them.
Religious models are not the only types of statues available. Brass statues of horses, camels, elephants and even trees are available. Connoisseurs of brass prefer these sculptures to conventional religious sculptures. These are made with intricate carvings and great labour, taking painstaking effort and skill to make sure that not a single detail of the statue is overlooked.
The art of making brass statues is very old. One is the lost wax method in which sculptors make a cast of the object and then pour the brass into the cast to make the sculpture. Second method of making brass statues is the sand casting method which is much more complex. This method uses sand/clay materials and steel to create the sculptures. It is the method used by industries for mass production.
These days, brass sculptures have become very popular as a decorator item. It gives a traditional feel to the surroundings and increases the aesthetic ambience. Especially in India, brass has a long heritage. The beauty of these sculptures is that they can be placed anywhere in the house and not look out of place.
One of the common trends today is to have a large brass statue at the entrance of the house. You can also add flowers or other decorations to beautify it. Smaller brass statues can make a great addition to showcases or shelves. Another common type of brass sculptures are wall sculptures. These can be hung on the wall anywhere in the house. These come in various sizes and designs depending on your need and budget. One of the most common sculptures of this type is the sun sculpture. This is usually hung outside the house for wealth, health and prosperity in the household.
Seeing as they do not rust, its maintenance is not much of an issue. Just wipe it with a wet cloth and you are done. However, after prolonged exposure to air, the metal at the surface may oxidise and it loses its shine. This can be prevented by polishing the statue, which is done at any handicraft store, although, statues these days are coming with a pre-applied coating which prevents oxidation.
Brass sculptures are available in most of the major handicraft stores in India. With the advent of technology, one can also purchase these statues online. There is a vast selection of brass decorations and statues one can choose from online. Though please do not be hasty and buy it without verifying the seller. Brass statues are sometimes adulterated with iron for financial gain. So before buying, verify the seller for the authenticity of their products and their delivery record.
The price range of these marvellous pieces of art can range anywhere between Rs.1000 to lakhs of rupees. The price depends on the size of the sculpture, the effort and intricacy of the statue and its heritage value. Religious statues are usually priced more than non-religious ones.