Bidsquare Picks: The Power of Patina

Feb 20,2018 | 11:37 EST By Jessica Helen Weinberg

When it comes to metalwork, the age, value and character of an object can be mistakenly lifted away with one fell swoop of a Lysol wipe. For instance, if you have or happen to uncover your great-grandmothers' Tiffany Studios candlestick holders, we command you to drop the polish!

Antique sculptures and decorative objects develop what is known as a “patina” (pa-TEEN-uh) over the course of time. A patina refers to surface changes caused by chemical reactions, dirt buildup, scratches or any other naturally occurring events. However, when it comes to metal castings in materials such as copper or bronze, an artist often chooses a finish right away; and that becomes its original and most valued patina. Color choice, texture and finish are an integral part of the artwork and collectors simply swoon over patina’s that are left undisturbed. 

For this week's 'Bidsquare Picks', we've selected upcoming designs and sculptures that display a range of aesthetic choices, all of which harness the power of patina. 

Lot 187, Lynn Chadwick, Sitting Couple, Bronze; Estimate $40,000 - $60,000

In the case of Lynn Chadwick, one of the most renowned British sculptors of the 20th century, patina serves a dramatic role in the dimensionality that his figures candidly portray. Within the dark finish of this bronze, flecks of distressing aid the work in its geometric flatness to reveal Chadwick's masterful edge. Click here for a closer look in Palm Beach Modern Auctions, Modern Art & Design, Urban Culture, Jewelry sale on March 3rd

Lot 125, Rare Paul Evans Coffee Table, Verdigris-Patinated Copper; Estimate $18,000 - $24,000

Unlike the Statue of Liberty, who earned her patina by exposure to the salty elements, this Paul Evan's coffee table was deliberately oxidized. Having been forged by Paul Evans Studio, this particular piece is rare and coveted for its hands-on production and its historical origins in the American Craft Movement. Click here for a closer look in Palm Beach Modern Auctions, Modern Art & Design, Urban Culture, Jewelry sale on March 3rd. 

Lot 186, Ossip Zadkine, Intime, Polished Bronze, Marble, 1949; Estimate $40,000 - $60,000

Bronze patina doesn't always have to be a variant of brown or black. This high gloss, polished work by Russian-French sculptor, Ossip Zadkine shows off the brilliance of working in metals. Known for his Cubist approach to sculpture, Ossip Zadkine left fertile ground for green oxidation in the crevices of his interchanging depths and sudden plane-shifts. Click here for a closer look in Palm Beach Modern Auctions, Modern Art & Design, Urban Culture, Jewelry sale on March 3rd

Lot 77, Arman, The Day After, Bronze with Black Patina, 1984; Estimate $12,000 - $15,000

For the French-born American artist, Arman, readymade objects held a sculptural narrative all their own. Often employing the early concepts of Dadaism with Pop Art, Arman chose to cake a matte black patina onto a bronze casting of an antique chair, as if charred by fire. This jarring combination of materials creates a thought-provoking and emotional reaction for the viewer; ideas of loss and remains. Click here for a closer look in Shaprio Auctions, Fine & Decorative Art Auction on March 7th

Lot 119, Rare Harry Bertoia Sonambient Sculpture, Bronze, Copper; Estimate $30,000 - $50,000

When Italian-born American artist, sculptor and designer, Harry Bertoia was a child, he wished that there was a musical instrument that anyone could instantly play. This idea was later realized through his elegant, melodic series of works known as Sonambient sculptures. Bronze and copper wires are placed within a flat base and upon manipulation of these rods, a vibrating tone ensues. View detailed images of this sculptures' varying patina in Palm Beach Modern Auctions, Modern Art & Design, Urban Culture, Jewelry sale on March 3rd. 

With new auctions added daily, we're always ripe for the pickin! Be sure to check into 'Bidsquare Picks' each week for a speedy look at our upcoming selections!

Don't have a Bidsquare account? Sign up here!

Jessica Helen Weinberg | Senior Content Editor at Bidsquare

Be in the know about upcoming auctions and exciting post-sale results by following us on Facebook and Instagram