Apart from the environment, there are many things that will damage bronze, including:
- people touching the bronze
- antisocial acts such as:
- cleaning fluids
Most people don’t realise how vulnerable bronze is. It is a reactive metal – that’s why it can develop such a beautiful patina, but also why it corrodes.
Those unfamiliar with its ways can do a great deal of damage. Commercial cleaning products have the potential to etch and speckle the original patina. Even contractors working alongside bronze can damage it unintentionally, which can cause permanent disfiguration requiring bronze restoration.
Working on site
Our staff work in teams onsite and can help you keep your bronze in optimum condition. The key is to clean and restore on a regular basis, enabling the bronze to look good throughout the year.
Even better, when we combine bronze restoration and bronze cleaning, the condition of your bronze will go up while the price tag goes down. This type of combined treatment is what we refer to as bronze maintenance. Our clients find that it is a more cost-effective option than carrying out extensive bronze restoration every now and then.
To find out more about bronze restoration of facades and architectural features, click through to facades.
If you’d like to know more about how bronze cleaning and maintenance prevent historic shopfronts, bronze features and fittings from becoming dirty and disfigured, then take a look at our bronze maintenance page.
We also have a great article on why we recommend building managers prioritise bronze cleaning to avoid bronze restoration.
The way we restore a contemporary bronze sculpture may be very different to how we approach a traditional bronze monument. Contemporary sculptures may have been fabricated with architectural elements, rather than cast. If one particular element is degrading faster than another, we will investigate the root cause, then establish how best to stabilise it.
Public sculptures and monuments can have a variety of patinas. We have a great deal of knowledge about the conservation of both historic and contemporary patinas and how to preserve them.
In some instances, we may tailor products to suit an object’s precise needs. Whenever possible, we involve the artist in the conservation solutions, and always aim to respect their vision of the object.
Whether it’s traditional or contemporary sculpture, bronze requires ongoing maintenance. Without this approach, any bronze restoration will be unsustainable.
Involving Our Clients
The Antique Bronze team likes to help our clients learn about bronze restoration and provide them with as much advice as possible. We can help you to draw up a conservation plan after we have undertaken any restoration works to prevent the condition of the bronze sliding downhill again.
We specialise in working in situ because this usually makes the cost lower for the client, but there are times when a treatment isn’t possible in a public space. In these instances, we can have the sculpture moved to a safe bespoke space in North London.
You may be interested in the restoration of a contemporary bronze sculpture by Althea Wynne that we undertook in the City of London, which involved the treatment of a trio of magnificent horses. Well worth a visit if you are an art enthusiast. These bronzes had suffered from the harsh London environment, so their treatment involved the harmonisation of corrosion and some repatination work to reinstate the vision that the artist once had.
Read more about Althea Wynne’s Trio here.
If you’d like to see more of the projects we’ve undertaken, click through to our sculpture restoration page.
War memorials and public monuments, nestled in the centre of communities, tend to be close to everyone’s heart, their significance to people impossible to over-emphasise. One of the reasons we like this type of project is because our bronze restoration work is really valued, the public often having great enthusiasm to keep the monument maintained after our works are complete, which is good for the community and the bronze over the long term.
Keeping war memorials and monuments in good condition is a way of showing respect for those commemorated. If these types of objects begin to disfigure, they can become hard to read or interpret, losing their relevance to society. Public art and war memorials are often sited in locations where large numbers of people gather, which means damage is more likely. This is why we recommend maintenance and war memorial cleaning for annual events such as Remembrance Sunday.
Bronze restoration projects involving war memorials can be quite complex. Many have been neglected for decades and have fallen into acute disrepair. We provide our clients with guidance so that these objects can become useful to their community again, and be appreciated for years to come.
During a war memorial restoration, we:
- remove graffiti
- re-infill engraved lettering or inscriptions
- treat disfiguring surface corrosion
- clean stonework
- remake missing or damaged elements
The cultural and historic importance of these objects is uppermost in our minds, so we take care to ensure our working methods and our approach to their preservation reflect this.
If you would like any advice on the restoration of war memorials or monuments in London and the surrounding regions, we would be happy to discuss your requirements with you.
Indoor bronzes may have an easy life compared to their outdoor cousins, but homes are not galleries. Our treasured bronzes aren’t likely to have monitored environments and bespoke cases to protect them; often these little artworks are in the throng of everyday life, being:
- touched by admirers
- dropped accidentally
- splashed with celebratory champagne
- scraped when wet umbrellas are leaned against them
Damage happens, and when it does, we can help with all your bronze restoration needs. In our studio, we will clean, conserve and restore your small bronze.
It may be that only one area of a bronze patina has become worn, but this flaw is unbalancing the legibility of the sculpture, or a component has been broken and needs replacing. We can help with these kinds of complex problems without interfering with the mature and stable parts of the original structure. We can also advise you on how to care for your treasured bronzes in the future, helping to ensure they never need another visit with us.
To make an appointment for a small bronze restoration, please contact our office. You can bring your bronze to us, or if that’s impossible, we can arrange art transport.
If you’d like to see some examples of the repairs we’ve undertaken on privately owned bronzes, take a look at our page dedicated to small bronze restoration.