Handmade reproduction of a porphyry Roman bust
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Handmade reproduction of a porphyry Roman bust

Reproduction of an ancient porphyry statue representing a Roman consul of the XVIII century.
The work was realized referring to a unique photo, in low resolution and with few details, sent by the customer. In order to complete the work we have also realized the column base in Rosso Levanto marble.

Material: Rosso Porfirico and Viola Monumentale porphyry
Customer: private
Place: Strasbourg- Francebust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

Relevant phases of the work realization

Marble selection

We had to find the material as similar as possible to that represented in the photo of the original bust. Unfortunately, some porphyries used in ancient times, were extracted from quarries already closed so we had to search further information on-line to select among those available today. In order to find the best solution, we have made different carving and finishing samples.

More information: marble selection

Planning

The photo of the bust represented only the frontal view. We have realized various drawings to define the posture that had to be very similar to the original one.

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

In order to arrive to a definitive project, we have made the three-dimensional clay model.

More information: planning

Manufacturing technique

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

This material is hard and difficult to be worked. For the porphyry manufacturing we have used the suitable tools that are different from those needed for the marble. Thanks to the high manual skill, experience and competence of the traditional techniques acquired over the years, we have been able to make the carving and the handmade manufacturing in undercut.

More information: traditional techniques

Finishing

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

Considering the high hardness of the material and the presence of many details carved in depth, the handmade polishing of the surface has been very complicated.

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

We have used ancient abrasive tools and rubbed with a sponge soaked in water and diamond powder in order to reach a good degree of uniform polishing.

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

More information: finishings

Packaging and transport

The delivery had to be done in the city center on the second floor of a building without lift. The wooden box has been customized so that four persons were able to transport it by hand in security. The packaging operation has required a long time, care and attention due to the fragility of the work.

More information: packaging and transport

bust-reproduction-porphyry-sculpted-by-hand

Pills of history

As the bright red colour was associated with the imperial dignity, the porphyry works were part of the personal pharaohs and kings assets. In ancient times, it was a material especially used in the art of sculpture thanks to its high hardness and resistance to deterioration.