Looking at contemporary sculptures cast in bronze is a fantastic way to find elegant, stylish sculptures in a range of styles without encountering a huge price tag. Finding sculptures in the ideal price range, size and style will be made more than easy with the aid of this guide.
With advice on the type of sculptures available, how bronze is cast – and the resultant effect on the look and price of the sculpture – and how to find the ideal piece on eBay, the site used by both sculptors and buyers to get the most competitive prices and range available anywhere.
Range Of Bronze Sculptures
When looking at bronze items, the buyer should start out considering what kind of piece they are looking for, as this will help narrow their search and identify the kind of the budget they will need. Ranging from small tabletop items to large wall installations, eBay has a wide range of sculptures available to suit any taste. What should be considered are:
- Size – the size is the most important aspect, as this will decide the price. Smaller items will naturally be less costly, whereas a large sculpture designed for a plinth or wall are wonderful ways to decorate a large space.
- Design – whatever appeals to the buyer, whether it is a classical sculpture or abstract design. This can be decided before searching or decided by scrolling through the detailed photographs and descriptions the sellers on eBay. Contemporary bronze artists often favour sleek, minimalist designs perfect for making an understated, tasteful centrepiece.
- Type of Bronze – with a variety of ways of creating bronze sculptures, the amount of bronze and ways it is cast will determine weight, colour, design, detail and naturally the cost.
- Creator – the difference between individual artist-made bronze and mass produced sculptures has an effect on the price, with artist bronze having a high cost but a high production value, whereas a mass-produced sculpture may lack detail and long-term value but are more affordable.
- Price – fixing on a budget for the sculpture and isolating search results to that will make buying sculptures far simpler. Bronze is a valuable metal and the price will inevitably be determined by the amount of bronze used and the artist name attached.
Types of Bronze Sculptures
Bronze is a very versatile and beautiful metal, and can be used for outside as well as inside sculptures and statues. However the buyer must keep in mind the various ways bronze is used by artists, and deciding on the technique and medium they prefer is an important part of selecting the sculpture perfect for them.
Solid Bronze – is a pure solid bronze sculpture an important target? Bronze is a very valuable metal, due to increases in the price of copper.
- Advantages: Pure bronze sculptures will have a good investment value, due to the price of the materials.
- Disadvantages: Due to metal and production costs, a statue cast in bronze will have a higher price, as well as weight.
Bronze Resin – also known as ‘cold cast bronze’, bronze resin is a way of producing bronze sculptures where bronze powder is blended with a resin and poured into a mould.
- Advantages: Lower in cost due to easier production and less bronze, these are also lighter than solid bronze sculptures.
- Disadvantages: Sculptures made of this can be scratched easily, and do not carry the same long-term value.
Electroplated Bronze – a spelter (a less expensive alloy, often zinc or tin) base sculpture with bronze electroplating.
- Advantages: Similar to resin, the sculpture will be lighter than solid bronze, and with less expensive materials the buying price will also be lower.
- Disadvantages: If the sculpture is scratched the white spelter underneath will show.
When looking at items on eBay, the buyer should consider the various factors affecting their choice of sculpture. This includes finished bronze – though this sometimes refers to bronze resin, some artists use oxides, nitrates and carbonates to treat the bronze, producing different effects and colours. The finish can produce more interesting colours than plain bronze, but may alter the cost due to the cost of the chemicals.
If buying bronze sculptures – solid bronze in particular – from abroad, the buyer should keep in mind that countries have different regulations for how much copper the bronze must contain to even qualify as bronze. It can range from as high as 90% to as low as 60%, and if intending to buy solid bronze sculptures, it is always best to check the country regulations or ask the buyer what the casting bronze they use is made up of.
Contemporary Bronze Sculptors
There are many artists and sculptors with an expertise in bronze casting, and many make their work available on eBay; as it is an important and prominent market for art. When buying the work of individual sculptors, the buyer should remember that:Artisan work is as important as the buyer wants it to be, though buying art on eBay is a great way to support individual artists and their work.
Work from an individual sculptor will be more costly than a sculpture that has been mass-produced, due to the very labour intensive process.
If the piece is advertised as a particular artist’s work, check the item before buying. Many items are reproduction or antique counterfeits, and it is important to ascertain the origin of the item before buying.
Bronze sculptors tend to create items in numbered editions, and if the artist is particularly well known buyers can check the number on the item against online lists of their work. There is also the matter of original casts versus reproductions – which is preferred is entirely up to the buyer. Reproductions will be more affordable, but less detailed than original casts.
Caring for Bronze Sculptures
New contemporary bronze sculptures require some care to protect the finish and to prevent the problems that sometimes afflict bronze sculptures and statues. Since bronze is a copper alloy it is susceptible to developing the same green patina as pure copper, and measures must be taken to prevent it, such as:
- Do not wash the sculpture with water (this accelerates the greening process), just wax the sculpture to keep out moisture.
- Natural oils can be used to clean off large patches of green if the buyer wishes, though the patina is usually non-corrosive and protects the bronze underneath.
- If the sculpture is suitable to be placed outside, keep it out of direct sunlight as this may fade the metal or cause corrosion.
The green patina is indicative of older pieces, and many sculptors artificially induce the process with chemicals to mimic older bronze-work. In these cases the bronze must still be cared for with wax or natural oils, and before buying it is important to check on photographs of the piece that there are no examples of so-called ‘bronze disease’ – a natural corrosion that develops as patches of bright green on the bronze, this can be difficult and time-consuming to treat.
Buying Contemporary Bronze Sculptures On eBay
When buying contemporary bronze sculptures the buyer should keep these simple pointers in mind to guide their search:
- Cost – there is something to suit every budget, and eBay searches can be adjusted according to price. There are items for Auction or Buy It Now purchases that provide flexibility for the buying style preferred.
- What kind of bronze is on offer, and is that what is wanted – whether it is pure, resin or electroplated, make sure to check what the bronze content of the item is as this should determine the buying price.
- Size – though photographs provided of the piece should indicate size, asking for measurements of larger pieces to ensure there will be space is advisable. Size will also affect the shipping cost of the piece.
- Artist – if the piece is advertised as the work of a particular artist, make sure to check the claim.
- Local sellers – looking for local sellers is a great way to keep costs down, especially with bronze sculptures tending to be heavy items.
For more advice on searching eBay and how to tailor search results please consult the Search Tips page, with its guidance on refining search options, search operators and shortcuts. If the buyer is unsure about any items on display, or they want more information they should make sure to ask the seller any questions they may have.
Contemporary bronze sculptures are a wonderful way to decorate any home, and with the wide range of items, prices and casting styles available choosing the ideal item can be a complicated task. With this guide to bronze sculptures, the task of searching eBay should be made far more accessible as well as providing guidance to lead the buyer to identify themselves what would be perfect for them.
When buying items from eBay, buyers should keep in mind the added security benefits of using PayPal as a well as quick and reliable payment method and included eBay Buyer Protection. It is noteworthy that eBay offers one of the finest selections of sculptures, in particularly bronze sculptures for all conceivable tastes and styles.