The term Latten refers loosely to copper alloys, much like brass, employed in the Middle Ages and through to the late 18th and early 19th Centuries, for items such as decorative effect on borders, rivets or other details of metalwork (particularly armour) and for funerary effigies. It was commonly formed in thin sheets and used to make church utensils. Brass of this period is made through the calamine brass process, from copper and zinc ore. Later brass was made with zinc metal from Champion's smelting process and is not generally referred to as latten. This calamine brass was generally manufactured as hammered sheet or "battery brass" (hammered by a "battery" of water-powered hammers) and cast brass was rare.

"Latten" also refers to a type of tin plating on iron (or possibly some other base metal), which is known as "white latten"; and "black latten" refers to "laten-brass", which is brass milled into thin plates or sheets.

The term "latten" has also been used, rarely, to refer to lead alloys. Funerary crozier of the Bishops of St Davids, on display at St David's Cathedral, West Wales]

In general, metal in thin sheets is said to be latten such as "gold latten"; and "lattens", plural, refers to metal sheets between 1/64" and ≤ 1/32" in thickness.


*Edge & Paddock "Arms and Armour of the Medieval Knight" (1996) [Saturn Books, publishers, London]
*"Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary" (1998, 2nd edition)
*"The Oxford English Dictionary" (1989, 2nd edition)
*"Webster's Third New International Dictionary" (1986)
* Joan Day, "Bristol Brass"

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Latten — Lat ten, n. [OE. latoun, laton, OF. laton, F. laiton, prob. fr. OF. late lath, F. latte; because made in thin plates; cf. It. latta a sheet of tinned iron, tin plate. F. latte is of German origin. See {Lath} a thin board.] [1913 Webster] 1. A… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Latten — Latten, verb. reg. act. mit Latten versehen oder belegen. Ein Dach latten, die Dachlatten auf die Sparren nageln, wofür auch belatten üblich ist; im mittlern Lat. latare. Daher die Lattung …   Grammatisch-kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart

  • latten — [lat′ n] n. [ME laton < OFr < Ar lātūn, copper] 1. brass or a brasslike alloy hammered into thin sheets, formerly used for making church vessels 2. any metal, esp. tin, in thin sheets …   English World dictionary

  • latten — noun Etymology: Middle English laton, from Anglo French Date: 14th century a yellow alloy identical to or resembling brass typically hammered into thin sheets and formerly much used for church utensils …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • latten — /lat n/, n. 1. a brasslike alloy commonly made in thin sheets and formerly much used for church utensils. 2. tin plate. 3. any metal in thin sheets. [1300 50; ME lato(u)n < MF laton copper zinc alloy Ar latun < Turkic; cf. Turk altin gold] * * * …   Universalium

  • latten — noun /ˈlætən/ An alloy of copper and tin, similar to bronze, with a sufficient portion of tin to make it a pewter like color with yellowish tinge (rather than the brownish gold color of bronze of higher copper content), once used in thin sheets… …   Wiktionary

  • Latten — An alloy somewhat like brass used for adding refinements to suits of armour; also for making ornaments in a church and the ornamental brasses commemorating local worthies …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • latten — [ lat(ə)n] noun historical an alloy of copper and zinc resembling brass, hammered into thin sheets and used to make monumental brasses and church ornaments. Origin ME: from OFr. laton, of unknown origin …   English new terms dictionary

  • latten — n. Sheet tin, tinned iron plate …   New dictionary of synonyms

  • latten — lat·ten …   English syllables

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