JAIC 1983, Volume 23, Number 1, Article 4 (pp. 32 to 46)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1983, Volume 23, Number 1, Article 4 (pp. 32 to 46)

ON COPYING BRONZE STATUETTES

Ann H. Allison, & Robert B. Pond


ABSTRACT—In the replication of small statues by the cire perdue technique, the copies are invariably smaller and the dimensional fidelity to the bronze model is not exactly what might be expected. These deviations, the causes of which include mold shrinkage, transformation and solid state shrinkage of the alloy, are presented. The analysis of their effects upon a sound casting proves that the subtleties of replication leads to uncertainties in the ranking of statuettes in order of original and copy and that the majority of the shrinkage results from that of the alloy. With good casting procedure shrinkage limits of 2.5% to 3.18% can be expected, dependent upon the constituents of the copper alloy. Taking into consideration the deviations to be expected in each copy, a method is proposed whereby the combination of careful internal measurement of a statuette series to index statistically the degree of shrinkage with the stylistic approach of the art historian allows one to establish the chronological order of the castings.∗∗∗∗∗∗The method has been applied to replicas of a motif created by the Italian Renaissance sculptor, Antico, upon whose bronzes Dr. Allison is preparing a monograph.

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. GENERAL TECHNIQUE
3. EVALUATION OF PROBABLE COPY WORK
4. THE YOUNG HERCULES BY ANTICO
5. SUMMARY
a: References
Entire Article

Copyright 1983 American Institute of Historic and Artistic Works