Restoration


The cast - iron firebacks that I find when crossing Europe show very  different conditions.
Sometimes, a fireback is in an excellent state of preservation. It often origines from a collection and no further renovation is necessary.

picture: A fireback in perfekt condition: Abraham sacrifies Isaak
A fireback in perfekt condition: Abraham sacrifies Isaak

In some cases, one of the previous owners has painted the fireback typically using matt or semi-matt black   varnish.
This paint coating beeing part of the fireback's history, I normally leave as it is.  The paint doesn't affect the use in a fireplace or on a wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

picture: Semi-matt painted fireback depicting Diana with hunting horn and dog
Semi-matt painted fireback depicting Diana with hunting horn and dog

In the majority of cases, the fireback isn't painted, but simply more or less rusty.


The hole surface is covered by a thin layer of rust, often mixed with traces of carbon black and tar.

picture: A well preserved 18th century fireback before restoration: Coat of arms of the house of Bourbon, the French royal dynasty
A well preserved 18th century fireback before restoration: Coat of arms of the house of Bourbon, the French royal dynasty

Picture: clearly visible: rust and moss.....
clearly visible: rust and moss.....
Picture: ...covering the well preserved details of the ornaments
...covering the well preserved details of the ornaments

After removing greater rust spots using a chisel,  the front surface is cleaned by rotating wire brushes until the bare  metal glares.

Picture: restoration of the obove shown fireback
restoration of the obove shown fireback

I don't mind little remaining traces of rust underlining the nature of cast iron. The result is a wonderful metallic bright luster.
A fireback treated like that makes you feel the material and the surface structure.
However , a fireback brushed but not painted will probably  show initial easily removable rust in the course of time.
Though very effective,  I avoid sandblasting to remove dirt or rust as far as possible , as this treatment impaires the surface structure and the patina of a antique fireback.

 

At buyer's option,  I can paint every fireback using a special high heat paint for iron.

Picture: Restoration completed: marvelous metallic bright luster
Restoration completed: marvelous metallic bright luster

As a matter of principle, restoration is limited to the front side . The back side is left in its original condition enabling everybody to get an idea of the real age of the respective fireback.

Picture: the back side remains untreated
the back side remains untreated

Picture: even a layperson recognizes:  antique fireback dating back centuries
even a layperson recognizes: antique fireback dating back centuries
Picture: vast castig defects can only be found in originals
vast castig defects can only be found in originals



Dr. Markus Zenner - Antike Kaminplatten - Historic Firebacks

Westpreußenring 1 | 66121 Saarbrücken | Germany

Tel: +49 (0) 172 6847385

Fax: +49 (0) 681 8304873

E-Mail: info@historic-firebacks.com



Markus Dr. Zenner in Saarbrücken, DE auf Houzz
Markus Dr. Zenner in Saarbrücken, DE on Houzz
Remodeling and Home Design