Cleaning Bronze Roman

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toom
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Cleaning Bronze Roman

Post by toom » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:00 pm

This is how this coin was cleaned wrapped in baking foil loosly one dishwasher tablet in water left to soak overnight.then rinsed off.then with a tooth brush scrubed with tomato sauce and bar keepers friend powder which you can buy in most supermarkets.i like shiny coins some might say you killed it i think it looks good for another 1600 years found this on a day out with my brother steve-t
DSC_0013.JPG
::g
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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by alloverover » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:45 pm

Is that a Jamie Oliver recipe ? You forgot to rip up some spinach, rocket, Swiss chard and watercress and add it to the mix x;

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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by kingcoil » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:06 pm

alloverover wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:45 pm
Is that a Jamie Oliver recipe ? You forgot to rip up some spinach, rocket, Swiss chard and watercress and add it to the mix x;
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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by Steve_T » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:09 pm

Here it is pre clean :D

Image

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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by Me and my boy » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:19 pm

One looks 1600ish years old, one looks, uhm? Newish.
I can hear the new cilit bang advert
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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by Saffron » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:25 am

Me and my boy wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:19 pm
One looks 1600ish years old, one looks, uhm? Newish.
I can hear the new cilit bang advert
“Works well on patina” 😀 toom and the patinas gone🤣🤣
Do not laugh, seriously I know somebody that uses Cilit Bang to clean coins. :E :E :E

It actually works very well. :-O :-O

BUT even he states that its a last resort for things like Gorgian coppers that are no more than blank disks in an effort to get out the head / monarch and with a lot of luck the date and should not be used on any half decent coin.

I have seen the photos of before and after and it can turn a blank disk into a readable (to at least some extent) coin.
Realistically if you have a coin that far gone its worth giving it a try.

Evan

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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by Oxgirl36 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:18 am

I’m sorry but it’s wrong to clean Roman coins like that - morally wrong. I don’t even like Roman coins but that’s one with beautiful detail. And, after 2000 years of existence, it has earned that patina - or should I say it had.

It’s like sanding and stripping the pews at Westminster Cathedral or bleaching victorian linen - it can be done but it would destroy the very reason it was valued in the first place. Please don’t do it.

For the record this is my view as a member of this forum, not a moderator :)
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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by WVAM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:13 am

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:18 am
I’m sorry but it’s wrong to clean Roman coins like that - morally wrong. I don’t even like Roman coins but that’s one with beautiful detail. And, after 2000 years of existence, it has earned that patina - or should I say it had.

It’s like sanding and stripping the pews at Westminster Cathedral or bleaching victorian linen - it can be done but it would destroy the very reason it was valued in the first place. Please don’t do it.
Wow, now there's a can of worms if ever I saw one ;)

Frescos, old masters etc are routinely cleaned to take them back to their original glory having removed the patina of time. I recently cleaned a small 11th century harness fitting - why? - because as horse owners harness fittings are always clean and shiny and whoever lost it in the 11th century would have had it bright and shiny - that's how it was supposed to be. The patina was simply oxidation, corrosion and dirt.
Would I sand the pews in Westminster - absolutely not but they are cleaned regularly.

I doubt there is a right or wrong answer and it all depends on the object. If I find a crusty £1 coin I'll clean it and spend it even though it could have been some detectorist's highly patinated find in years to come.

All far too complicated for a Friday x;

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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by shaggybfc » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:21 am

To me, for non-historically important coins, that are not in great condition, I have no issues with people cleaning them to show further detail to keep in their personal collection. Roman coins are very common.

This coin has certainly been cleaned to make it look 'newer' and maybe more presentable.

I personally don't have enough knowledge or experience to be able to identify if a coin is important or not or even valuable, therefore I'd not attempt this, unless it was a virtually blank Georgian copper disk.

I'd be interested to understand the chemistry with the dishwasher tablet, and how that would actually clean a copper coin.

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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by statbloke » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:13 pm

I’m with the school of thought that says leave them alone. I think it looked great as it was and perfectly idable. Nice coin btw ::g

I’ve got the same attitude to this as unecessary plastic surgery. The crazy (though certainly creative) acid bath strips it of its character and experience. And just like surgery makes it look like a fake.

I used to do this stuff when I first started so will put my hand up to being a hypocrite, or maybe a reformed sinner (the most annoying type)

Entirely personal preference though and don’t judge others for thinking differently :D
Last edited by statbloke on Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by SuperRed » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:19 pm

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:18 am
I’m sorry but it’s wrong to clean Roman coins like that - morally wrong. I don’t even like Roman coins but that’s one with beautiful detail. And, after 2000 years of existence, it has earned that patina - or should I say it had.

It’s like sanding and stripping the pews at Westminster Cathedral or bleaching victorian linen - it can be done but it would destroy the very reason it was valued in the first place. Please don’t do it.


Each to their own, of course, but I have to agree with OG in this case. I definitely prefer the ‘before’ more than the ‘after’. One looks like an historical piece, whereas the other has a replica appearance. The ‘old masters’ analogy doesn’t really cut it for me. Cleaning and restoration for reasons of conservation for posterity of original artwork is very different to this.

I have a few denarii that were so encrusted that I couldn’t tell whether they were buttons or coins and a bit of ‘brutal’ zapping has brought them up beautifully: they are identifiable and I have had to resist trying to get the few remaining bits of crud off to leave a bit of their history on them. With bronzes, my general rule of thumb is to leave them with a light brush if they are identifiable, but if they are grots and little more than discs, just do what is necessary to bring out enough detail for ‘Al the man’ to work his magic. I have a lovely Licinius I with similar appearance to your ‘before’ pic, but it is clear and has had nothing more than a light brush.

Just a note: if you are recording finds, hand them over ‘as is’ before deciding how to clean them. I have had a rollicking in the past from the FLO for coating artefacts in renaissance wax – apart from changing the appearance for an ID, it also ruins their photos!! We live and learn.

As I said, up to you – you rescued it, so you decide. But just my opinion.
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Re: Cleaning Bronze Roman

Post by king of the swingers » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:42 pm

good jod cracking detail on coin. I think you would of got same end product just soaking in water for a couple of hour and using toothbrush . no need for the tommy sauce ::g

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Re: Cleaning Bronze Roman

Post by Steve_T » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:06 pm

Difficult for me as it's my brother's choice, he knew some would slate the cleaning, I myself would not have cleaned it, but his choice after all. He did the clean as these are not rare and have no monetary value.

There are those that would, those that wouldn't...............can't please everybody, but that's true for everything

I have seen it after the clean and the process has not been agresive to the coins metal, it has removed the crud and made it look as it would have when new.

I have recorded it on the PAS as found so it will soon be in the public domain not lost

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Re: Cleaning Bronze Roman

Post by littleboot » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:44 pm

Depends on the coin. If you know it isn't of historical significance or rarity value then I see little harm in cleaning and presenting them as you wish. It can be interesting to see what a coin looked like to the person who dropped it. And a few examples in a personal collection that have been well cleaned is an interesting dimension.
Patina of age can be a good thing ....but not always. And, like everything else in life, attitudes to patina and restoration change with fashion and time. On a more down to earth level, I remember the fashion to strip wooden furniture back to its 'authentic wood'...ignoring the fact that much of this furniture was made with painting in mind. Years later and furniture is being painted....even stuff that clearly shouldn't be! In other words, it should depend on the quality of the wood and the workmanship, the provenance of the piece.

I remember going to a rally near Ripon and spending a morning looking round the Cathedral there. (If you have the chance go take a look....its a cracking little cathedral with a Saxon Crypt, masses of pre-Norman history and some truly spectacular medieval wood carving.....I digress)
One of the features I found most interesting was the section of carved tracery and statues at the end of the Nave. Most of the stonework in the cathedral was plain stone. But this bit showed how it would have looked to the worshippers back in the day. It was painted in the colours and gilding it had been originally....tests on the stone had yielded up the information required to re-paint it accurately. It was spectacular....and looked like a massive page of illuminated manuscript. No wonder the folk were God-fearing....the effect of the whole interior would have been astounding. It was an eye-opener to see it restored. The rest of the Cathedral had the 'patina' of age in tha the colour had gone from the stone.
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Re: Cleaning Bronze Roman

Post by WVAM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:23 pm

littleboot wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:44 pm
Depends on the coin. If you know it isn't of historical significance or rarity value then I see little harm in cleaning and presenting them as you wish. It can be interesting to see what a coin looked like to the person who dropped it. And a few examples in a personal collection that have been well cleaned is an interesting dimension.
Have to agree. Just thinking about the coin in question it was never meant to look like it had been in the ground for over a thousand years. It's only us that put a value on surface oxidation and corrosion by calling it patina. In some cases 'patina' can add to the appreciation of an object. In others, that same patina obscures the beauty. I'm not sure why but I would not worry about a 1970 penny but I would think twice about an AD70 coin even before I've considered the rarity or historical significance. Pop in to London and you can buy bags of Roman coins by weight!

To add to the confusion - if you find a 400 year old gold coin that's as bright and shiny as the day it was lost then somehow, that's OK.

Assuming you don't damage the coin then to clean or not to clean becomes more of an emotional connection to the past.

Time for a beer.

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Re: cleaning bronze roman

Post by WVAM » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:52 pm

"Each to their own, of course, but I have to agree with OG in this case. I definitely prefer the ‘before’ more than the ‘after’. One looks like an historical piece, whereas the other has a replica appearance. The ‘old masters’ analogy doesn’t really cut it for me. Cleaning and restoration for reasons of conservation for posterity of original artwork is very different to this."



The old master or fresco is on a route to possible or probable oblivion. The coin is on the same journey probably hastened by removing it from the ground. Both need conserving but you have to decide whether you conserve the current state or return it to as semblance of its original state and then conserve it. It seems to be acceptable for the old master but not the coin.

I have no idea of the right answer or how I would choose.

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Re: Cleaning Bronze Roman

Post by toom » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:21 pm

Thanks for the controversial replys some are very good made me laugh anyway.Trust me i would not do this to any coins or artifacts that were important .This coin is common and could not see the great detail on it.other blank discs that have no detail can somtimes become ideable.I do have some nice coins .good patina and detail .Would not dream of cleaning these.This is bronze dont do it to copper EATS IT.

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