A Guide To Antique Sculptures And How To Check Their Authenticity

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Bronze antique sculptures are breath-taking in many ways, and while there are many in the marketplace, there’s always a risk of buying a fake one. Like any other work of art, a bronze sculpture can be replicated, and some are so like the real thing, only an expert would be able to tell the difference.

Understanding Bronze

Bronze is an alloy of two or more metals, usually 90% copper and 10% tin, and bronze is too soft to be pure, while pure tin breaks easily and is brittle. Other than tin, other metals might be used; lead, zinc, aluminium and manganese could all be combined to produce the best properties for the artist.

What Is A Fake Sculpture?

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When an artist creates a number of figurines, it will be a limited collection, and a fake one is made illegally, or without the artist’s permission when a foundry takes a mould from an original and creates a replica. If you would like to view a range of authentic antique sculptures, drop by Love Antiques, who is a UK antique dealer that has a large collection of antique bronze sculptures. There are many fakes on the market, and if you are not an expert, you are advised to ask an expert to examine any piece that you are thinking of adding to your collection, as this is the safest way to approach the purchase.


Chasing bronze is an art that takes time to master, and it occurs after the bronze has cooled, when any rod marks are chased out. This process is very time-consuming, and fortunately, fakes rarely are chased correctly, if at all. If the surface seems very smooth, this could be the result of machine polishing, and another tell-tale sign of a fake item is slight machine lines, caused by machine polishing.


Once a sculpture has been chased, it then has a coating of patina applied to the surface, which halts the oxidation process and also provides an aesthetically appealing surface that gets better over time. There are two types of patina: chemical and one that is painted on. The chemical version is normal for an antique bronze sculpture. Patination is extremely difficult to replicate, therefore, this is a good way to tell whether or not an item is authentic.

If you want to be sure that the sculpture you are interested in is actually authentic, make sure you buy from a reputable online antique dealer, who would never offer a fake for sale, as this would destroy his good name in the industry. If you are looking for a specific sculpture, talk to an established online antique dealer, who would have extensive connections in the trade, and can therefore source an item to order.

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Any bronze sculpture should be cared for, like any other valuable fine art item, and the best way to do that is to wipe the item with a damp cloth and then dry it with a soft cloth. Don’t try to make the piece look too clean, as the ageing process adds to the appeal.

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About the Author: Clare Louise