Hall Conservation Ltd

  • Before treatment

  • Before treatment

  • The distorted lead before treatment

  • Brush marks from previous work were visible on the surface

  • During treatment with wax being applied to the heated surface. Only the left side is finished.

  • After treatment

  • Before treatment

  • After treatment

  • After treatment

  • Close up of the medallion of office

  • The rear of the chair with brush marks from previous work toned in

Project Information

This cast bronze sculpture at Hatfield House shows Robert Gascoyne-Cecil wearing his full regalia, sitting at his office chair. The sculpture rests on a plinth of  carved stone.  Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury was a British Conservative statement who was Prime Minister three times, serving for a total of thirteen years.

The bronze was in good condition, but dirt and staining had built up from bird guano over the years.  There was evidence of previous restoration work that had been carried out in the past with both brown brush marks and green wax drops on the sculpture itself,

The sculpture was initially cleaned using the Therma tech steam cleaning system.  During the course of the cleaning, it was discovered that the wax drops could be softened and removed mechanically, leaving unpatinated metal.

The bronze was gently heated using a propane torch.  Once it was  hot to the touch, a coating of clear wax was applied using brushes.  The wax chosen was a combination of microcrystalline and carnauba wax and provides a harder coating than microcrystalline wax alone.  The finish was assessed after the first coat had been applied, and where necessary coloured waxes were used to even out the patina.  With the coloured waxes applied, the bronze was gently heated again to melt the layers of wax together.

Hand tools were used to remove the build up of limescale.  Once the colouring process was complete, two coats of clear microcrystal was was allied and buffed to a soft sheen.

Finally, the lead gully was carefully re-shaped using plastic hammers and stakes to allow it to sit upright again.

Historians record his personal credo as “Whatever happens will be for the worst, and therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible.”


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