The term Latten refers loosely to
copper alloys, much like brass, employed in the Middle Agesand 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 brassprocess, 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
crozierof 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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