Just when you think you’ve seen it all with bronze sculptures and you’re ready to move on, you should realize that “there’s more out there” than meets the eye. When considering antique bronze statues for your collection, remember that the definition of antique doesn’t mean boring, traditional. There are plenty of beautiful examples of ancient and classic bronze sculpture art that’s just waiting to be discovered. If you’re looking for an unusual piece, you might need to consider finding an antique bronze statue buyer.
Of course, once 40 years into the business, the best way to spot the authenticity of any bronze sculpture is immediate initial impression when viewing a newly designed patinated bronze. It’s at this moment that it truly speaks to you as to whether it’s fake or real. When you see a poorly executed patina, that’s definitely not the patina of a newly designed orolae. Bronze sculpture artists weren’t afraid of shortcuts back then, and they certainly didn’t come out on top. The ormolu, or wing, may not look like it’s been professionally welded – but it is.
Most orols were initially molded by hand, but some artists switched to transferring their creations to a specially cast metal pan in a “pit” before pouring molten bronze. Why would an artist transfer his or her creation before pouring the molten metal? One possibility is the artist may have had trouble getting the shape he wanted, but the metal pan was difficult to work with – and necessary to complete the sculpture. Another possibility is that the sculptor was struggling with the design of the piece, and transferring his or her orolae to a special metal pan allowed him to perfect the design. Perhaps the artist simply didn’t like the finished patina.
The most common type of Bronze sculpture today are those made from magnesium-copper alloy, also known as brass-polished or brass-bronzed. These cast metals retain the shiny, copper-like colour of the original bronze, but with added durability. They’re inexpensive, easy to produce, and resistant to corrosion. Unlike the lost-wax casting methods, the thickness of the magnesium-copper alloy doesn’t need to be very thick, so sculptures made from this material can have a somewhat broader surface. It can be worked into intricate designs and polished to give a mirror-like sheen.
One benefit of bronze sculptures made from magnesium-copper alloy is the sculptor has complete control over colour. There is no escaping the copper-like sheen, but the sculptor can chose to create a rainbow of colours, or stick to the more traditional green, blue, and silver. That means bronze sculptors can express themselves creatively. It also makes for more interesting pieces, as each piece will have slightly different colouration.
Bronze sculptors also enjoy working with marble. Marble is a natural stone that has been used for thousands of years for everything from statues to buildings, floors, and jewelry. Bronze sculpture artists can use it to create figures, such as Cupid, the god of love, or Bacchus, the god of wine and festivities. Because marble is quite porous, bronzes can be applied directly to the surface, which creates a range of colours and effects. Some artists prefer to use bronzes mixed in with semi-precious gems set in the marble, creating works like tumbled marbles. Bronze statues and busts can also be created from other materials, including wood and ceramic.
Some of the oldest Bronze Age statues were cast from wood, and these often contain imperfections that give them an antique appearance. As the Bronze Age progressed, metal casting became more widespread, resulting in metal pieces with a more solid, smooth surface. Modern technology can reproduce almost every feature of a bronzed statue, making them highly desirable antiques.
Many modern artists still prefer to create statues and Busts from bronze, as the bronzes still offer a unique colour palette, depth, and variety of textures. Because bronze is a versatile metal, pieces can be cast in a wide variety of colours to represent almost any natural occurrence. Today’s artists are able to create pieces that emulate the aesthetic appeal of ancient cultures, whilst still using the same material.