Hall Conservation Ltd

  • Sculpture before treatment

  • Removing the old lead

  • Figure with the new lead skin

  • On display in the British Museum

Date:18 April, 2013

Project Information

Antony Gormley’s piece, ‘Case for an Angel’ had been stored for several years in a timber case, and organic acids given off by the wood had caused lead acetate corrosion. In places, the corrosion pitting had penetrated the thin lead skin of the sculpture. The sculpture was to be included in a major exhibition at the British Museum but the corrosion gave it an uneven and degraded appearance. The fixing between the sculpture and the new plinth it was to be mounted on at the Museum needed to be altered and strengthened, as did the armature holding the 8m long wings in position.

After consultation with Antony Gormley the decision was taken to remove the old lead from the sculpture and replace it with new. The lead was less than 1mm thick and the new lead had to be specially rolled to this thickness. The new lead skin was cut, fitted and dressed in exactly the same way as it had been originally, to fit the contours of the internal glass fibre form. The joints between the sheets were then soft soldered together and the characteristic ridged seam found on many of Antony Gormley’s sculptures from this period was built up in soft solder.