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How Long Do Bronze Statues Last?

How Long Do Bronze Statues Last?

Since bronze statues can be pretty expensive, it’s natural to think about their shelf life. If you are going to get a sculpture – be it new from a store, or an antique piece from an auction, you should know how long it’s going to last before corrosion starts to eat away your statue.

The good thing about bronze sculptures is that they can last a very long time in a relatively normal environment. There are still numerous bronze sculptures around that are hundreds or even a thousand years old.

How long can bronze statues last?

Bronze is one of the strongest alloys on earth. Perhaps, it’s because it’s not made of singular metal. Instead, bronze is an amalgam of copper and tin, and sometimes a mixture of some other materials as well.

reddish-brown color man made from bronze

This man-made alloy has a reddish-brown color which is known as the color “Bronze”.

Copper, which is a very strong metal creates a barrier when exposed to other elements. And since copper plays the lead role in the making of bronze, bronze sculptures get the advantage of a long shelf life.

How to ensure the safety of bronze statues?

Yes, we mentioned above that bronze is almost indestructible. Yet, some things can decay your bronze sculptures.

Here are some ways to prevent bronze decay –

1. Ensure Real bronze artifact

The first thing you have to do is to make sure that the statue in concern is made with real bronze alloy. There are two types of bronze sculptures – hot cast or foundry bronze sculptures, and cold cast resin or bounded bronze sculptures.

If your sculpture is a hot cast, then you can rest assured that it will last for a very long time.

Characteristics of hot cast bronze statues –

  • Sound – a hot cast bronze statue will sound more metallic when you tap it with something metal, such as your wedding ring.
  • Color – foundry or hot cast bronze sculptures have a lustrous, bronze color with gold highlights. However, the same luster of bronze can be gained with certain technics. So, depending solely on color is not a great idea for determining foundry bronze.

Also Read: How Do You Know That A Statue Real or Fake?

What you shouldn’t count while determining a hot cast bronze are –

Weight: Weight can play a tricky role in determining whether a bronze statue is hot cast or cold cast. Although foundry bronze statues normally weigh more, cold cast statues can weigh the same given the circumstances.

Temperature: Since the alloy bronze conducts heat from its environment, if the temperature in the environment is cool, the sculpture will feel cool as well. Similarly, on a hot day, the sculpture will be incredibly hot. So, don’t determine whether a sculpture is foundry or cold cast resin just by its temperature.

The shelf life of bronze statues also depends on the amount of bronze used in the sculpting process.

2. Prevent bronze disease

Bronze disease refers to the corrosion that eats away the metal. When exposed to chloride and water, a chemical reaction occurs in the alloy. The result can make the sculpture’s surface form a powdery green substance. Similar to rust, this corrosion can highly damage bronze sculptures.

So, whenever cleaning your bronze statues, be careful while using chloride substances. Instead, use a cleaning product especially made for cleaning bronze sculptures.

Bronze sculptures can also gather white or blue substances if exposed to chlorine. You can clean the artifact with a wet cloth to remove the gathering.

You can prevent bronze disease by regularly examining the artifacts and controlling the humidity by keeping it below 39%.

3. Keep a regular maintenance

Be it foundry bronze sculptures or bounded bronze statues, if you take care of your sculptures, they will have a long shelf life.

Wipe your sculptures with a soft cloth and cleaning material every once in a while to keep the luster and shine intact. If the sculpture is cold cast, prevent it from overheating by keeping it in indoors or in a shadowy, cool place.

Bottom Line

If you have purchased a bronze sculpture, then you will be happy to know that you have chosen a very sustainable material that has the ability to last for a very long time.

So, you might have something as a family heritage that you can pass on to your descendent as well. Follow the methods above to determine the bronze casting and to extend the shelf life of your bronze statues.

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