patina. A painted medallic surface has a tendency to wear through, or chip, or break away, particularly on the high points of a medallic item. A 20th century example is the Fairmont Park Art Association Medal of Honor, 1937, which has a black paint finish. The Iron Cross decoration of Germany in lower grades is painted black. The Theodore Roosevelt Plaque (illustrating the entry quotation) has a brown organic coating. Anyone who has played with toy soldiers quickly learns the effect of paint on metal; the coated paint easily chips off exposing the bare metal underneath. All such organic coatings applied to metal are thus susceptible to chipping away their color coatings. See also colorize.
excerpted with permission from
For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators
COMPILED AND WRITTEN BY D. WAYNE JOHNSON
Roger W. Burdette, Editor