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Cleaning bronze bust

Article about: Just received a 1 1/2 lifesize Hitler bronze bust and, to me, it appears to suffer from some bronze corrosion in places --- so, does anyboy have tips as to how I should go about cleaning it

  1. #1

    Default Cleaning bronze bust

    Just received a 1 1/2 lifesize Hitler bronze bust and, to me, it appears to suffer from some bronze corrosion in places --- so, does anyboy have tips as to how I should go about cleaning it (gently, without losing its age patina)? I found this tip below online, would this suffice/be adequate and still not damage the busts patina? (note: the green powdery residue doesn't appear to be flaking)


    Treating bronze disease requires some chemistry and a lot of time. First, scrub your bronze item gently with a toothbrush, removing all of the flaking spots. Then soak it in a solution of 5-percent or less sodium sesquicarbonate. Change the solution weekly. When the solution is pH neutral, the bronze disease has been treated. Only use distilled water for cleaning and rinsing. This method may be impractical for large items. If your item is quite large or valuable, you should consult a professional for advice.


    A few of the sellers pics of the bust, the face is largely free from this green residue... the most problematic/extensive areas of this compact green residue is behind the ears and on the inside (bust is hollow)... if more photos are needed I will get on it, I jus included these for a simple overview (green residue in crevices and behind the ears can largely be made out but bust appears cleaner in these pics than in person).

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2
    Jan
    Jan is offline
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    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    One word if it´s a period piece... don´t.

    Best,


    Jan

  4. #3

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    It's a 100% period piece and, just to be clear, I was not talking about polishing (!!!) or removing patina in any way ... maybe I'm being overly concerned here but I've learnt that "bronze disease" can be quite aggressive and simply wanted to know what I should do (if neccessary at all) to prevent spreading of corrosion/ to avoid further deterioration.

    In short; if deemed neccessary my goal would be to neutralize the bronze rust (if that's what it is), nothing more.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    Quote by slados28 View Post
    ....you should consult a professional for advice.
    I think your original post contained sound advice
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    Professional cleaning would be too expensive for me at this point in time so that's why I figured I'd ask for input --- maybe it isn't neccessary to do anything at all but I'm new to bronze artifacts .. so there

  7. #6

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    It'll take hundreds of years for the verdigris to eat through the thickness of material that bust has been cast in, don't worry about it, just give it a gentle dusting with a dry cloth once in a while.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    Thank you for the sound advice, Ned. The main thing I was worried about was that the thicker layers of green residue (verdigris or "bronze disease"..) might also be causing more aggresive corrosion underneath --- as noted I am new to bronze artifacts but I just weanted to get this concern out of the way before I found a nice spot for it on my shelf

    (this as I am sure we're differentiating between "verdigris", as in a green surface patina, and "bronze disease" here)

  9. #8

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    Verdigris is not bronze disease, leave it be and you can wax the piece lightly.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    (this as I am sure we're differentiating between "verdigris", as in a green surface patina, and "bronze disease" here)
    I know it's not the same, see quote from my earlier post above--- the thing is that I do not know what my bust has, if it is only a layer of verdigris (that can cause corrosion too from what I've read, but not very aggressive) or "bronze disease"...
    Some people seem to be misunderstanding my intention with this thread here, I guess I should have worded the topic title in a different manner. I will post up some pics later so maybe someone can chime in and give a "diagnosis" of possible issues -- if verdigris and nothing more sinister I'll pretty much leave it alone.

  11. #10
    ?

    Default Re: Cleaning bronze bust

    On my bronze etc items I wax them lightly and clean with a fine cloth and fine brush(soft toothbrush) to make sure I have removed the residue wax from the crevasses. Been at it for 40+ years and it works well.

    Horst
    "He who hesitates is lost - is not only lost but miles from the next exit"

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