JAIC 1982, Volume 21, Number 2, Article 2 (pp. 35 to 42)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1982, Volume 21, Number 2, Article 2 (pp. 35 to 42)

RESTORATION OF A LARGE CHINESE BRONZE URN

Aron A. Apisdorf



6 FINAL STEPS

Patina was applied to the surface of every bronze piece inside and out, using dilute hydrochloric acid and low heat. After the desired patina was achieved, the acid on the surface was neutralized with household detergent and a baking soda solution. The urn was then thoroughly rinsed. At the owner's request, surfaces of the fiberglass and acrylic resin were painted to match the color of the patina. Several layers of Incralac protective coating were applied to seal the urn from pollutants in the air and also to prevent oxygen in the air from combining with any residue of the patination process which might have been left in the porous areas of the metal. Due to the extensive damage which had been sustained by Level I, it received an extra layer of Incralac to guard against further oxidation from within. In addition, a five-foot electrical heating rod was suspended inside the urn. This was to be used to protect against Miami's humid climate during intervals when the home is not air-conditioned.

The urn was assembled and kept in my studio for several weeks to make sure that the lower levels could now withstand the stress of supporting the upper levels. When I was satisfied that they were able to do so, the urn was disassembled, taken to the owner's home and reassembled. It was positioned next to a wall and attached to the wall in back of Level IV to prevent leaning, since it stands on soft carpeting.


Copyright 1982 American Institute of Historic and Artistic Works