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– Bronze cleaning is cheap! Regular visits mean less work is needed per visit and this means costs are kept to a minimum.
– Bronze corrodes. It is very sensitive and reacts to pollutants in the air, liquids spilled upon it, guano and urine. When it does corrode, it usually looks unsightly. Bronze cleaning should prevent the need for costly restoration projects. Removing these sorts of contaminants often prevents the degradation of the protective coating and prevents the bronze from becoming etched and discoloured. Once the bronze has changed then only restoration can return it to what it should look like.
– Bronze cleaning is a protective process. It includes the reapplication of further layers of a protective coating such as wax. This barrier layer is the only protection the bronze has and so reinstating it regularly lowers the chance of the bronze becoming damaged.
– Bronze cleaning makes a building look splendid! Over time bronze can become dull and lifeless. Bronze cleaning also involves a burnishing stage and this returns the life and lustre to the surface of the facade or bronze feature.
– Bronze cleaning prevents those dips in condition that occurs when work is done sporadically. This means the bronze façade or feature can look good all year round.
– Bronze says something about a building. Historically, bronze was a status symbol: its expense and beauty were admired. This is why it was selected for features on buildings of substance such as the Bank of England and London’s County Hall. Keeping bronze clean and protected is recognition of what significance the building has.
– Bronze sells: This is why retailers like it so much and Regent Street and Oxford Street are awash with it. They are tapping into the recognition that bronze represent the high-end of the market and so do the products inside. Bronze cleaning couldn’t be more important for showing off the shop to its highest standard and enticing customers inside.
– Bronze suggests a cultured side. Bronze has been the material of choice for artists for centuries and is still loved by contemporary sculptors. Choosing bronze features or fittings taps into this artistic mind-set. Bronze cleaning couldn’t be more important to show off the very best of bronze by maintaining the highlights and lowlights, the varying hues, the delicacy of the patina.
– Bronze cleaning can prevent antisocial behaviour. Where bronze looks uncared for, people consider features as a low priority and feel that adding graffiti, or using the area as a public toilet is befitting its condition.
– Bronze is fabulous! Building managers shouldn’t consider it a burden to have it to look after. It is beautiful and special and bronze cleaning can keep it that way.
If you have any further questions about bronze cleaning, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will do our best to help you.
Penned by non-other than our own Director, Lucy Branch, the third novel in The Gold Gift Series was released at the end of September. Lucy Branch’s fiction has been featured on Radio 4, Timeout London and The BBC World Service. She is an expert in the conservation of public sculpture and has worked on some of the UK’s highest profile projects including Nelson’s Column, Eros and Cleopatra’s Needle. Her knowledge and passion for the art world is poured into her fiction which she weaves together with myth, conspiracy theory and fantasy.
“If you like a conspiracy theory that walks the line between myth and science, you’ll love A Rarer Gift Than Gold.”
“A series about the dark side of the art world by a real expert in the art world.”
“These novels will take everything you think you know about alchemy and turns it on its head.”
“What’s not to like – rogue artists, The Illuminati and BIG sculptures”
Find out more about the novels…
Abigail Argent stands out: some admire her lean figure and beautiful dark eyes, others notice that she always wears gloves and shudder when they know why. The ones that know her best notice her ability with metal.
She has a gift for seeing the beauty in a plain piece of metal and being able to draw it out. With a background in chemistry, Abigail’s knowledge of her craft is academic as well as practical, which is how she makes a chance discovery of a link between her own craft and that of her favourite childhood myth: the ancient art of alchemy.
But danger is lurking where the worlds of art and myth collide.
Abigail piques the interest of one of the world’s oldest secret societies, and she is forced to draw on all her practical knowhow to keep herself alive.
But, what does she discover about herself from The Golden Illuminati?
The Golden Illuminati are biding their time, but they have plans for Abigail Argent.
Handsome architect, Robert Fitzpatrick is one of their members. When he offers Abigail help, she’s suspicious. But Abigail is struggling to reconnect with her elusive gift, and Robert offers her the only thing that could persuade her to give him a chance.
Characters old and new come together to help Abigail and protect her from the most formidable secret society in history, but The Golden Illuminati aren’t her only problem.
With a new threat hanging over her, Abigail tries to focus on deepening her strange relationship with metal, whilst bonds with others begin to spin out of control.
Can Abigail avoid the clutches of The Golden Illuminati and master her gift?
Francesca Milliardo sees something she wasn’t meant to see.
Her dreams of making a big splash as a contemporary artist are on the line if she’s read the situation wrong.
Worst still, her father seems to be involved.
As Francesca searches for truth, her persistent migraines are beginning to run riot. Some of her symptoms are morphing and she’s starting to wonder if there’s more to the pain than a pill can cure.
Her father’s handsome assistant is a welcome distraction from the confusion of her life, but can he save her from the dangers that lurk? Or, could he, too, be part of them?
Francesca doesn’t know whom to trust or what to do.
It’s time for her to make some hard choices: believe in the people she loves or bet her beloved career on a mystery that’s rooted in myth.
And if you’d like your copy signed by the author, JUST ASK!
“For want of a Nail the Shoe was lost; for want of a Shoe the Horse was lost” Benjamin Franklin
Despite the January frost, Antique Bronze Ltd, specialists in sculptural conversation and restoration, began work on restoring Althea Wynne’s spirited trio of horse sculptures in Minster Court, City of London. The aim of Antique Bronze Ltd’s work was to prevent the sentiment of Benjamin Franklin’s prophecy from coming true by intervening before the original patina on these exceptional sculptures had been entirely lost.
Antique Bronze was the company chosen to undertake this project as it is known for its knowledge and expertise in contemporary patination. The company has been commissioned in the past to work with artists such as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Wendy Taylor thus benefitting from their wealth of experience with contemporary sculpture.
London is not short of dramatic horse sculpture. From the rearing fury of Piccadilly’s Horses of Helios Fountain, to the tenacious bravery of Boadicea’s horses which pull her chariot, but Althea Wynne’s magnificent trio at Minster must be acknowledged as among the greats. Althea created these site specific sculptures for Minster Court when it was built in the early 1990’s. As a nod to the financial district they belong to, they are affectionately known as Sterling, Dollar and Yen. A love of horses and an ability to translate their innate beauty in bronze made her the perfect choice for this commission. Tragically, Althea died in a car accident with her husband in 2012 while working on another equestrian commission for Windsor Great Park.
Wilkinson Carvings – Majestic once more, The Completion of Restoration Work in London’s County Hall
Over the Christmas period, two magnificent stone carvings were returned to County Hall, London. These sculptural friezes made by Antique Bronze Ltd were precise replicas of the originals which once adorned the fireplaces in the main entrance of County Hall. After the completion of almost a year’s work, the experts behind the impressive feat highlight their story.
Alfred Henry Wilkinson was born in 1884 in Birmingham and whilst in his teenage years began an apprenticeship as a wood carver, attending his local art school. He then later moved to London, following his love for architectural designs, choosing to study at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. He subsequently went on to become a National Scholar at the National Art Training School (now known as the Royal College of Art) before attending the Royal Academy Schools winning his scholarship and numerous prizes.
His work within London’s County Hall occurred following a competition he won in 1921 which was held to offer the chance to design the ceremonial staircase within the Hall itself. The commission unfortunately was never carried out; however Wilkinson was still employed to create stone carvings for both the Belvedere Road and Westminster Bridge Road entrances to the County Hall. In addition he created the chimney piece located within the members lounge. Continuing with his amazing skill as a wood carver, several years later he was once again commissioned to undertake wood carving within the northern section of County Hall.
Although there is no exact date available, at some point towards the end of the last century, two of the stone carvings adorning the main entrance to the Hall were indelicately removed. Eager to resurrect the splendour of the Halls intricacy, County Hall Estate Management Ltd, the current managers of the building decided to have the missing statues remade.
Antique Bronze Ltd were chosen to undertake this special task as they are renowned for their art services and are specialists in the restoration and conservation of traditional materials. Although this project has taken virtually a whole year, they managed to put the finishing touches to the replica sculptures in mid-December. Lucy Branch, director at Antique Bronze spoke of the challenges her team faced when taking on this project:
“Every stage of this project has been complex – just one of the early tasks was in sourcing enough clear images of the sculptures that we were replacing. This is an essential step in ensuring a faithful reproduction of the artist’s work. Just locating the images took a number of weeks. Initially, only one sculpture was known about and through our research, it came to light that two unique sculptures of the highest quality were originally there. When we did find images, our hopes were dashed as they were blurry and of no use to us who need precise details to copy. Once we had found the best images to relate to, the next step was sourcing the correct stone to keep in line with the existing décor and original choices made.
After searching for a while we managed to source the very same ‘Hopton Wood’ stone which is very rare now in the scale that we required it. From the photographs, we initially made a small wax maquette before going onto sculpting both models first in clay. We then carved them by hand in stone before finally installing them which was a logistical feat in itself. This month we plan to remove the scaffolding before allowing full access to visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of the finished project”.
London-based Antique Bronze Ltd continually present a stunning range of wonderful restoration work and are highly respected as one of the most reputable experts within their industry. Delivering a wide selection of services, discover more about the company and their specialist trades by visiting the website at www.antiquebronze.co.uk now.
Regularly taking on some of the most delicate restoration works across the UK, they keep a close eye on stories and studies relating to their industry
George Stephenson back at Newcastle Central Station after clean-up, follow the link to read about this bronze restoration project.
Published in the Building Conservation Directory, this article by Lucy Branch discusses the problems of vandalism of public sculpture.
Follow the link to read about statue repair in the public domain.
Antique Bronze Ltd have secured a £600,000 contract for the restoration of bronze windows on four blocks of the Cripps buildings at St John’s College, Cambridge.
The Cripps buildings, which are student accommodation, have a Grade II listed exterior and the bronze windows were highly disfigured by bright green corrosion. This corrosion had occurred through weathering over time. Much of the original patina had failed entirely but fortunately there was enough of the original finish remaining internally to be able to be sure of their intended aesthetic.
Several teams were involved in bringing this project to fruition on time and within budget. Preparation works to the bronze were undertaken by hand. Although a machine abrasion technique would have been faster, we decided to remove the corrosion deposits by hand which enabled the conservators to make subtle adjustments to the amount of corrosion being removed so that as little of the original surface of the windows was disturbed as possible.
Ultimately, this is a win-win situation – it is better conservation and results in a better finish. When bronze is stripped bright, its aged appeal is lost. A building built in the 1960s, as this was, shouldn’t look like it has just come out of the fabricator’s workshop.
The next stage was repatination. This involves the colouring of the Bronze which is a traditional technique which hasn’t altered in several hundred years. For this project, we mixed a bespoke patina recipe in order to reflect the evidence of the original colour we found on the windows. Finally, the windows were protected with several coats of Renaissance Micro-Crystalline wax, which is one of our preferred products.