Tender’s ‘crab apple’ keyrings are lost wax cast in England from solid brass. They are fitted onto a brass-plated steel keyring.
The casting is taken directly from a real crab apple (malus) picked in a friend’s garden. The stem was bent around into a loop, and Tender’s Plautus face is engraved into the base of the apple.
To produce the casting, a real apple was used to make a rubber mould, into which casting 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 pieces are filed and cleaned up. The crab apples are either polished to a bright golden in a vibrating tub of marble chips, or are left raw from the casting process, giving them a matt ‘russet’ effect similar to weather-bitten apples (Shakespeare’s leathercoats). Neither version is varnished or lacquered, so will patinate and develop even more character over time. The crab apple is also available rusted, bringing out the copper verdigris from the yellow brass, turning it green.