The Queen during her “restoration period” (sorry)!
The statue made by George Frampton and was unveiled in 1905. It is Grade II* Listed. Much of the surface of the statue was showing oxidisation with the development of a Verdigris patina typical to bronze sculpture placed outdoors, which are effected by atmospheric pollution and other environmental factors. In this case the statue had become home to pigeons and the acidic nature of their bird muck along with the sap produced from the encroaching trees were having deleterious effects on the statue.
The plaque during restoration
Initially the trees were cut back and the surface of the bronze inspected for any copper oxides that could have deleterious effects on the surface if left untreated. Copper sulphide staining could be seen and had been absorbed by the sandstone pedestal but wasn’t considered to be particularly significant. Wooden spatulas were used to remove thick encrustations and detritus to avoid scratching the bronze. The statue was cleaned using a Thermatech superheated water cleaning system. The Patina was considered to be stable, although some patination work was required to return the statue back to its traditional brown, ‘Liver of Sulphur,’ Patination. Finally, the sculpture received a number of protective coats of mirocrystaline wax and a program was recommended to the local Council appropriate to the statue for future maintenance.
The statue on completion
Location: Town Hall Square St. Helens
Client: St. Helens Council