Plowden & Smith is the leading sculpture restoration and conservation company in Europe.
We restore and conserve sculpture and statuary made from a wide range of materials including stone, metal and wood.
Specialist services include regular essential maintenance such as conservation cleaning and waxing, the restoration of major structural damage, restoring and matching patinated or painted finishes, re-gilding, removing surface scratches, toning in repairs, polishing and lacquering.
We also replicate missing elements – from minute details to prominent features – even when we have no design or image to work from.
Our experts travel all over the world treating works by sculptors such as Barbara Hepworth, Arnaldo Pomodoro and Elisabeth Frink; we also work closely with many official bodies, including the Henry Moore Foundation.
Our workshop can accommodate larger sculptures and we are fully equipped to collect and deliver.
This large marble cherub came in for restoration work because of its broken wing. Conscious of the size and weight of the broken element, we drilled the wing and inserted a dowel to strengthen the repair and prevent the likelihood of repeat damage along the point of weakness.
The break edges were carefully bonded together. Any remaining gaps or small missing sections of marble along the repair were filled using conservation-grade materials and the whole area was painstakingly retouched to achieve a result that is virtually flawless to the naked eye.
At the client’s request, the cherub was also cleaned with a poultice to remove the thick layer of dirt that was obscuring the more intricate detailing on the statue. The eagle’s face particularly benefited from this treatment, and the clients are now far better able to appreciate the delicate carving on the lower half of this statue.
Sheep, François-Xavier Lalanne
The stone composite and bronze sheep sculpture by François-Xavier Lalanne had been displayed outside; its surface was dirty, with patches of rust staining where the piece had come into prolonged contact with metal.
The stone body of the sheep and bronze elements were cleaned to remove all traces of surface dirt, after which a protective layer of wax was applied.
Rust staining can be quite stubborn: the first thing we did was to stabilise the damage to prevent any further corrosion. The staining was then cleaned with a poultice. Any residual traces of discolouration were sympathetically retouched for a perfect result.
Barbara Hepworth Sculpture
The Restoration Man (Sky Discovery WorldWide)