Plowden & Smith is an industry leader in the restoration, conservation and care of metal objects.

Rigorous attention to detail underpins every one of our treatments, which range from brazing, soldering and welding to filling losses and recasting or fabricating replica elements, as well as retouching and re-patinating surface finishes.

We are authorities in the restoration and care of antique and contemporary silver – everything from the slightest ding to the most substantial dent is repaired. Our cleaning, polishing and re-plating services utterly transform the appearance of scratched and worn silver objects.

We are one of the few companies with the skills required for tin plating or ‘tinning’ and our expertise in replicating metal finishes, including the patination found on ancient Middle Eastern bronzes, has marked us out as an industry leader for Islamic art.

Featured Projects

Crude Oil Tanker

We carried out extensive repair and work of a model ship that had been significantly damaged in transit.

The ship’s super structure had become completely detached and a significant number of smaller plastic, wood and metal components and assemblies (notably ladders, lengths of railing and pipelines) had broken off or become distorted.

The first step was to establish the original location of each detached part and then work out what was missing. We needed to minimise the time required to support each of the delicate parts during the setting stage therefore a quick curing adhesive was used to adhere each part. Lengths of twisted pipeline were carefully straightened using pliers then adhered in place.

Using fine pliers, we were able to bend into place a lot of the railings that had seemed irretrievably distorted when we first received the model. For those that had lost their upright pieces, we made new lengths from scratch.

We created a special jig in order to replicate the original railing design. Lengths of straight brass were carefully lead-soldered together to form a new length of railing. Where two of the original ladders were missing, they were replicated using the same brass wire and lead solder.

Areas of paint loss and new elements were touched in using acrylic paints, mixed to accurately match the original colour scheme. The wooden plinth had endured some surface abrasions to the varnish finish, rectified by the application of a layer of shellac.

‘SS Imperator’

This monumental shipbuilders’ model had suffered extensive damage to the area surrounding the first funnel. In addition to this, the model’s many metal components had corroded and discoloured, and there were numerous patches of flaking paint that required treatment.

We cleaned the corroded brass portholes and windows, making replacements where the originals were missing. Using acetate we replaced the 150 windows, made a missing I for Imperator and created six veener doors. The desk was cleaned and the funnel area repaired. Bent post and railings around the perimeter of the deck were carefully straightened and new railing posts made.

The silver anchor, poles and gold propeller were re-plated, and the lettering and the decorative section at the base of the boat was re-gilded.

Areas of paint loss were retouched on the funnel, around the anchor, under the hull and on the walls above the deck.

after image courtesy of the Pullman Gallery

Bronze Figure

The Restoration Man (Sky Discovery Worldwide)