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Saving Snapped Statues

Hello Progressive Bronze blog readers! It’s been some time since the last update, but we’ve been keeping busy. In this post I’m going to highlight a couple of brass statue repair projects we’ve had the chance to work on. Both of these were headed for auction when they were damaged in shipping.

The first statue is a lovely sculpture of a woman on a marble base. It is made of brass, and plated with what appears to be either nickel or silver that has worn off rather handsomely in a number of spots. As you can see from the photo below, it snapped at its thinnest and weakest point.

This repair was a bit more difficult than it appears, as the break was not very clean and the top section is heavy solid brass, which puts extra stress on the narrow point. After putting the piece back together with a strong weld, the break point was not as smooth as it needed to be, so there was a fair amount of grinding off the excess material and some hand polishing to make any sign of the break disappear. Here is how it turned out.

The second statue is a handsome horse and rider, again made of brass with a very nice patina. The horse has two feet in the air, meaning the weighty meat of the statue is (stop me if you’ve heard this one) connected at just a couple of weak points. These, of course, are what snapped.

The repair had some different challenges from the woman sculpture. The breaks were much cleaner, but the narrow points are more narrow which means the strength of the welds are that much more important. The patina presents a challenge, as well, since the heat of welding burns the area around it. Because of this we had to match the color of the patina near the welds. Take a look below and see what you think.

It should be noted that these are both brass statues, and brass is a material that is comparatively easy to weld and work with. If these were made of white metal, like many of the pieces we see, they would not be repairable as they could not be welded.

If you have a statue, or just a question about this or any other post, let us know in the comments below. Or you can send us an email.

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