Metal icons (bronze/brass icons) - Antique Russian icons
Metal icons can be produced either in chased (punched) or cast form, as was particularly widespread in the 19th century. There were two techniques: the "hearth casting technique" and the casting technique with "lost form". The first method used negatives cut in stone into which metal alloys were poured. In the second, a model made of wax was covered with clay and heated so much that the wax melted and flowed out of thin channels. The resulting matrix was filled with liquid alloys (bronze made of copper and tin, brass made of copper and zinc) and smashed after they had cooled down. The bronze icons were often enamelled, an artisanal art that could be used, for example, to imitate the smelting of the pit. In the finished state, these metal icons were often "fire-gilded", that is, a wafer-thin layer of gold amalgam (gold-mercury alloy) was applied and the mercury was evaporated.
Bronze icons were also grouped into diptychs and triptychs and used as travel icons, but also for home devotions.