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  • Susan

Wrought Iron Urns

The New Haven Museum boasts an imposing front plaza entry for its Colonial Revival building. We were very pleased to contribute to its recent award-winning renovation (New Haven Preservation Trust Certificate of Recognition, 2019) by treating the c. 1820's wrought iron urns that grace its front staircase.

Originally part of the now-demolished Nathan Smith House from the 1820's, the urns were gifted to the Museum around 1910 and incorporated into the granite stairway about 20 years later. See the Daily Nutmeg for more historical information.

As they were mounted with molted lead supporting the feet, we had little recourse but to treat them in place, carefully covering the granite plinths with plastic for protection.

The urns are composed of worked and cast iron sections joined together with a thick metal dowel through the interior; cast copper alloy leaves adorn the central section and delicate scrolls detail the base.

The wrought iron was in astonishingly good condition, with little corrosion and only a small amount of damage. The painted surface, however, was in very bad repair, with large areas of the paint lost altogether and the remaining surface flaking and detaching over the entire objects.

We repaired the structural and decorative components, painstakingly removed the old, degraded paint with soft tools and a water-based stripped, and applied coats of industrial-grade primer and paint to protect and enhance the metal surfaces.

Urn after treatment

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