Sunday, August 16, 2009

Art Pantine repatination kits

A reader alerted me to the Art Patine web site, YouTube videos, and items of eBay seller la_vitrine_du_prospecteur. [A Google translation of the French site is available.]

Art Patine is selling a patination product for coins and antiquities, replica Roman coins (plus toy metal detector), and antiquities like this triple phallus.

As far as I know this is the first repatination product marketed directly to coin cleaners and replica merchants. The art of patinating isn't new, bronze artists have been doing it for centuries and there are even books such as Richard Hughes and Michael Rowe's The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals (1991) (I haven't read this.). I asked some zappers a few years ago about patination and they all insisted they don't do anything beyond reverse electrolysis.

If anyone is using this product I'd be interested in a review. I would also be interested in hearing from any bronze artists who patinate and want to guest-blog about it here.

I don't know much about detecting artificial patinas. Supposedly a real patina is thicker and often changes color or consistency with depth. Authentication seems to require destructively slicing into coins; I haven't been able to bring myself to do that. (It's also illegal damage antiquities in some countries). Does anyone out there have much experience with spotting artificial patinas?

Art Pantine also sells a product for silver plating coins (video here).

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