Real Bronze or Fake ?

The Truth about Cold Cast Bronze !

THERE IS NO SUCH THING !

by ANDREW RAE

There is an increase in the purchase of Paintings, Sculpture and 3D designs for decorating homes and gardens. People are willing to spend more on adding a bit of Style and Culture to their living space or improving the quality of their garden with beautiful works of Fine Art. This is a good sign that the individual in modern society has attained a little more time and space from the mundane survival lifestyle to relax and enjoy the more subtle beauties of life.

Great, well the market at home and on vacation is flooded with multi-cultural and home-grown talent and products to add that special magic touch to your home and garden. Paintings take up little space but can offset a boring plain wall to amazing effect and an artefact or sculpture will give that corner, table or windowsill the extra highlight to bring a holistic feel to any room.

A word of caution here, for those buying or possessing
sculpture that they think is bronze !

Now most people, quite rightly will think that bronze being metal, would be fireproof and practically indestructible. They would be correct in assuming this but the question is:

Is it real Bronze ?

Bronze is an alloy ( two or more metals melted together ) in this case copper and tin with a melting point of 1,400 degrees F. It is usually cast into a mould replacing the original wax image. It is very heavy and when tapped with something hard makes a ringing sound. It is also very strong hence it's first use as swords back in the Bronze Age. If dropped on the floor it usually will not break but may break your toes if dropped on them. These 3 clues will let you know that you have a genuine bronze sculpture.

Weight, Strength and Sound.

The confusion arising in the description of material used is that copies of sculptures that look like bronzes are made in other materials and either are painted or have real bronze powder in the surface coat of the replica. So the main body of the item may be cast in plaster of Paris and painted or cast in a resin ( either Polyester or Urethane ) with bronze powder mixed in to give the shiny bronze appearance. These last two materials are highly flammable and if not recognised as such could be placed in an unsafe position ( i.e. near candles or fireplaces ) and may contribute to burning down your house even faster than it would normally. Now if this were Real Bronze then you would probably find the sculpture intact amongst the ashes, and at least have that as rescued property should such an unwanted occurrence happen to you.

In galleries, shops and also on the internet, retailers of Sculptures usually give details such as edition numbers, Artist, Date and what material is used. Some will be described as Bronze and verification of this with the three tests discussed above are needed or guarantees from internet suppliers that they are hot bronze castings. Others may say " Bonded Bronze ", " Cold Cast Bronze " or even " Bronze Finish ". Some will be totally honest and say Bronze resin, however they are all likely to be cheap and affordable for the mass market, and there is nothing wrong with that but you must not expect them to be collectables, long-lasting, valuable, unbreakable or a safe material. The truth is that casting sculptures in real bronze is expensive ( expect to pay over $400 for a very small Real Bronze ) and there are no shortcuts, or easy methods, consequently they are collectable, will last thousands of years and really are worth their weight in BRONZE.

I hope this will clarify any questions or concerns that you may have had regarding this subject, and remember FEEL the quality, all good sculptors want people to touch and pick up sculptures if possible. So if you are told not to touch one that someone is trying to sell you, be suspicious, you usually only get what you pay for or less.

Keywords: bronze, sculpture, fine art, bronze collection, collectors,
About the Author
ANDREW RAE, United Kingdom
andyrae@orange.net

Learn more about Real Bronze Sculpture

Well travelled, versatile Sculptor, specialising in body language and movement. A crazed Salsa Dancer and Musician myself; I love to capture moments in time that glimpse the human potential and ultimate expression of a free Spirit.