Restoration of the candlesticks in the Church of St. James the Greater

In 2011, a decision was made to restore two high baroque pewter candlesticks from the Church of St. James the Greater in Jihlava. The work was funded by resources from the Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov. Photographs included in the appendix of this article will give you a closer look at the progress of the work.

Condition of the candlesticks before the start of restoration work.

Restoration of Pewter Candlesticks

Two high baroque pewter candlesticks on three spherical legs with a three-sided concavely curved and profiled base without relief decoration. A high baluster shaft holds a dish with a profiled edge. An iron spike is soldered in the center of the dish.

Restorer: Petr Zeman, DiS
Implementation: 2011
Reg. No. ÚSKP: not recorded

Financial contributors to the restoration
  • Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov
Condition before restoration

The candlesticks were covered in dirt and a thick layer of dark-colored oxidation. The most significant damage was caused by corrosion, which led to the material corroding through in several places, resulting in perforation. Corrosion was present in smaller deposits and on the surface of the candlesticks. Due to corrosion, parts of the candlesticks had broken off. The candlesticks had numerous mechanical damages in the form of cracks, dents, and broken off pieces.

Restoration process

Before the restoration itself, a conservation survey was conducted, and based on this, a conservation plan was developed. The intervention was continuously documented. Coarse impurities were mechanically removed. Local corrosion and oxidation were chemically removed by soaking in a Chelaton solution followed by a neutralizing rinse. Deformed areas were leveled using wooden fixtures. An alloy analysis was conducted, which revealed the presence of tin, lead, and zinc. Based on this, detached parts were soldered back together. The soldered areas were retouched and blended into the surrounding area with retouching. Missing parts were recast. Brass plates were remade for the top dishes of the candlesticks to prevent wax contact with the object. Finally, everything was conserved with Paraloid, and a conservation report was prepared.

Photographs from the restoration process

Before restoration
Before restoration
Before restoration
Intervention, cleaning
Intervention, soldering
Condition after restoration
Condition after restoration