Tender’s ‘ball’ key ring is hand cast from solid brass in England, using the lost wax method. The original ball was carved by hand from a piece of box wood, and hand engraved with Pautus’ face. This was used to make a mould, into which wax is poured. The wax is packed in plaster, and molten brass is run in, melting away the wax and hardening inside the plaster. The plaster is then broken away and the exposed ball is filed and cleaned up, and polished with marble chips and fine sand, to give it a deep shine. The ball is mounted onto a brass plated stainless steel split keyring. The chromed version is then electroplated to a high, hard, silver shine.
Titus Maccius Plautus was a Roman playwright (254-184BC) whose work included translating and adapting Greek comedies for a Roman audience. Sometimes considered the first plagiarist, he can also be seen as part of an oral tradition which allowed stories to develop and evolve. This makes a nice parallel with the manner in which jeans and workwear came into their current forms.
The polished finished brass is not sealed or varnished, so will patinate and darken over time, to become more and more unique and personal as it is worn. The chrome version will not tarnish, but the plating will eventually wear away to reveal the raw brass underneath. The coppered ball will tarnish from a bright red copper to a soft green verdigris, eventually wearing away to show the brass below. White bronze is a white metal alloy of copper, tin, and zinc, with less copper content than yellow brass or darker bronze. It was traditionally used for grave markers, as it does not tarnish in the way that silver does. The white bronze keyring is presented on a nickel plated keyring.