New Art Deco Sculpture Looks OldBy Mark Chervenka
New Art Deco Sculpture Looks Old
This new nine-inch sculpture sold through a mail-order gift catalog is much better quality than bronze look-alikes offered by reproduction wholesalers. Most inexpensive reproductions are actually made of iron with a painted "patina." This piece is solid brass with a genuine patina; that is a surface color produced by treating the surface with chemicals and heat. We found our sample offered at $45 retail.
Perhaps the most obvious clue that this in not a period piece is a very noticeable casting seam with grinding marks. Even low-cost copies from the late 19th and early 20th century do not have grinding marks.
Many bronze imitations from reproduction wholesalers have spurious sculptors' names such as Remington, Moreau and others, cast in the surface. No artist name was found on this sample.
Due to the large number of iron castings in the market, it makes good sense to use a magnet as your first test of authenticity. Magnets will be attracted to iron, but not to true bronze, brass or and similar alloys.