Hall Conservation Ltd

  • The fountain on arrival at the studio

  • Flame cleaning to remove the old layers of paint

  • Applying the decorative paint and wax layers

  • installed back on-site

Date:18 March, 2013

Project Information

The setting of the 19c French cast iron sculpture in the grounds of Blenheim Palace had become overgrown, and the sculpture itself was in a poor condition, but the Duke of Marlborough wished to have it restored and made the centrepiece of a new fountain.

At some point the sculpture had been painted black, but that had degraded, leaving areas of the iron exposed and there were areas where the iron had completely corroded away leaving gaps, particularly evident around the base, and one of the cherubs was detached from the base.

Flame cleaning and wire brushing was used to remove the paint and the rust flakes. Repairs were necessary to the loose cherub so that it could be re-fixed to the base. A new piece of case iron was shaped and welded into position, drilled and tapped so that it could be bolted securely to the base. Following cleaning and repairs, the sculpture was painted, inside and out using a durable, modern paint system for ferrous metals. The exterior, to be finished to imitate patinated bronze, was given a base coat of yellow, then overcoated with brown tinted glazes and given a protective coating of wax.