What is the cold cast bronze process?
The process is similar to what happens when a bas relief sculpture is cast in bronze at a foundry. First a mold of the original is made. In our case we use a silicone material with high tear strength but also sufficiently soft and flexible to allow for exact duplication of all details—down to the tiny lines on the angel’s wings as well as easy release of the art work’s deep undercuts.
Next, instead of making a cast of wax for a lost wax or similar sort of casting process used if the piece were to be cast in bronze, the mold is filled with a fast cast resin developed for adding pigment to achieve a true color effect. Due to the depth of the sculpture that process requires the careful application of several separate resin layers. Real bronze powder is added to reproduce the authentic look of a real bronze casting.
After the cast hardens it is removed carefully from the mold and many hours of labor are spent with 0000 bronze and steel wool on the surface of the piece to delicately bring out and recreate the look of real bronze. When completed each piece looks as if it were cast in bronze metal.
How long will this bas relief piece be available for purchase?
An honest answer is we really don’t know. It may not be for very long. We are almost 70 years old and the casting of each piece requires a lot of time and a lot of detailed work.
Why are you making this work available now?
The first reason is we were not aware until recently that this original bronze bas relief could be duplicated without going to a foundry.
The second reason is we want our great, great grandfather Anthony W. Jones to receive due recognition for what we consider to be a truly stunning bas relief recreation of the Moritz Retzsch masterpiece before we pass into the great unknown.
The third reason is Retzsch’s original painting and our great, great grandfather’s bas relief are both extraordinary works of art that deserve to be shared. If you happen to love the work of Titian, DaVinci, Renoir, Chagall or any other great classic or modern artist affordable prints are usually available for purchase. You can frame them on your own, hang them on your wall and enjoy that art print almost as much as the owner of the original art work. Other than relatively small images on the internet, Retzsch’s masterpiece of “The Chess Players” aka “The Game of Life” does not seem to be readily available for purchase as an art print. That is probably because of its provenance—it was owned by Queen Isabella II of Spain and subsequently gifted to a private collector according to Christie’s auction house. In October of 1999 the original was sold at auction likely to a private collector. If it were not for our willingness to make our great, great grandfather’s work available while we are still alive, it is unlikely anyone would ever know such an extraordinary bronze bas relief of Retzsch’s master work ever existed.
How did you arrive at a purchase price of $2,400.00?
It takes a certain amount of skill to properly pour each casting, finish the casting when it is removed from its mold and then properly frame it. That is not an assembly line operation. Each piece is made to order. Every casting is its own work of art because the detail hand work of bringing out the bronze finish makes each piece an original in its own right. The mold materials are expensive and we fully expect to get only a limited number of castings from each mold. The mold and resin materials we use will reproduce a finger print. Every original line inscribed on the angel’s wings in the original work is reproduced perfectly. Absolutely no detail is lost. You end up owning an exact duplicate of the original work. We use only the best materials for both the mold and the casting. We do not skimp on anything. The first mold created from the original bronze work is quite heavy. It takes two of us to properly lift and move it.
Is it possible to order a copy in real bronze?
Yes, of course. We are willing to take the mold to a nearby foundry and have them use our mold to cast the piece in bronze. Of course the cost for a casting in bronze at a foundry would require a purchase price far more than $2,400.00 but we are aware of the fact that some people may be willing to pay the price necessary to own a exact duplicate of this extraordinary bas relief in bronze. If you are interested in that possibility, please let us know. We will quote you a price and also an appropriate lead time.
How large is the bas relief?
The piece itself measures 25
inches wide side to side. It is 22 inches high. When framed the entire piece
is 30 inches wide by 27 inches high. It is a substantial work of art.
How heavy is each piece?
Each unframed bas relief weighs more than 7 pounds. When it is framed the total weight is about 15 pounds.
How is it shipped to me?
Every finished piece is shipped prepaid in an Air float Systems StrongBox see http://airfloatsys.com/strongbox/ . We like the fact that particular packaging was developed especially for the transportation and protection of valuable art work. As the Air Float Systems web site indicates “Your art is safely encased in three layers of quality protection—two layers of convoluted foam and one layer of Perf-Pack foam.” Their StrongBox system allows us to customize the Perf-Pack layer to the dimensions of the framed piece. As their web site also indicates, those multiple layers “work together to provide superior shock absorption, guarding your art from bumps and scrapes during shipping.” Given the size of the finished piece and the 3 inch depth of the frame, your finished bas relief art work is shipped in a StrongBox that measures 38 inches x 42 inches x 4 inches deep.
It you have other questions not addressed here, we are happy to answer them. Please contact us.