E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A mixed metal made by a variety of metals melted at the conflagration of Corinth in B.C. 146, when the city was burnt to the ground by the consul Mummius. Vases and other ornaments were made by the Romans of this metal, of greater value than if they had been made of silver or gold.
The Hông-hee vases (1426) of China were made of a similar mixed metal when the Imperial palace was burnt to the ground. These vessels are of priceless value.