Pottery made to order | repair and restoration studio in Southern Delaware
Antique French Napoleon Bonaparte Bust Bronze Sculpture by David

Antique Bronze Napoleon Statue Restoration

This 200+ years old Antique French Napoleon Bonaparte Bust Bronze Sculpture (signed by David) was made using the "Lost Wax" casting method with the original plaster mold remaining inside the statue contributing to present of moisture. The present of moisture oxidized the bronze and eroded the plaster structure under. Both issues needed to be addressed. In addition, we addressed all other Bronze weak areas that were partially eroded, too thin or with crumbled plaster to prevent continuing degradation or collapsing of weak bronze walls during normal handling.

Napoleon bronze bust with corrosion damage

Corroded areas are in several places with loose plaster requiring removal as well

Grind loose plaster off and drill holes for consolidator to settle in for stronger structure

Cut open area where plaster is not present for support as entry opening for consolidator

Remove bronze that is too thin to avoid future failures

After bronze is removed, remove eroded plaster

Slice open areas needing structure reenforcement

Blow off any loose particles

Inject B72 and other required consolidators to bond soft plaster and add inner structure

Heat epoxy based consolidator to liquefy it to seep into needed areas

Fill with pigmented PC-11 epoxy

Sculpt filler to the correct shape

Sand filled surfaces

Filled surfaces sanded and polished ready for patina

Apply metallic base patina

Patina application in process (10-15 layers)

Apply cold glaze over repaired areas for proper sheen and surface texture

Bronze Casting Using The Lost-Wax Technique

Customer's Thank you note:

Dear Patty & Morty,

I want to thank and congratulate you on the incredible job you did restoring my copper Napoleon bust.

The 200 year old bust was in dire need of restoration where the copper corroded through and finding someone who I trusted to do the repair was a daunting task. After hundreds of hours researching the restoration of antique art I found Lakeside Pottery. I sent the pictures you requested of the statue and then spoke to you on the phone, I knew that my search was over.

The process was exactly as you said it would be. From shipping recommendations up to the work itself there were no surprises. You contacted me half-way through the process and updated me on the actual amount of damage and how you were approaching the repair. I was on pins and needles wondering if the repair would be noticeable because the majority of the corrosion was on the left side of the face-

then the pictures arrived and it was a WOW moment! The photographs were mind blowing. If you didn’t know where the original damage was you could not tell by looking at the photographs. In addition, you sent me 20 images of the step-by-step process to get my Napoleon showroom new.

As pleased as I was with the photos, they could not compare to what I saw after unpacking the returned bust. I could not see any seams or unevenness where you filled the removed copper. The color of the patina was a perfect match and you even touched up sections that I didn’t think you would work on.

I got the bust from my father, who got it from his father. My Dad only saw the bust in the damaged condition and he was gob smacked when he watched it being unpacked. He told me his Dad would be so happy to see the restored Napoleon and that made me feel great that he was so pleased.

Restoring art certainly is an investment that deserves a great deal of consideration. I am glad I took my time looking for the right artists to take on my project. I would not hesitate a nanosecond to recommend Lakeside Pottery for any art restoration. I already have my next project in mind for you!

My sincere thanks for your restoration skills and artistic skills.

Leo Mahoney

Lenox, Massachusetts

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