Bronze Collection

Available for “Adoption” through the Adopt an Artwork Program

This collection of ancient bronze weaponry and horse fittings was originally acquired in the 1960s by Union College Professor Emeritus, Carl George and his wife, Gail George, in Tehran, Iran, and gifted to the Union College Permanent Collection. Presumed to be from the famed Luristan region and dated to the Iranian Iron Age (1300- 650 BCE), many of the bronzes are representative of artifacts from this area and can be stylistically compared to excavated examples at notable institutions. See more examples from the collection here and read about the history of the ancient Luristan region here.

There is a sequential method of treatment needed for the bronze artifacts, involving first testing for bronze disease, then following a protocol to render the corrosion inactive: the surface is at first degreased, then the active corrosion pits are excavated of loose corrosion material, and packed with a special paste that acts as a protective patch; the artifact is then exposed to high humidity to determine if the treatment has worked; if it hasn’t, a more aggressive treatment approach is taken. Analysis using non-destructive XRF (X-ray Fluorescence) technology has also been recommended for a few of the pieces.

We are about a third of the way through the treatments needed for this collection and are looking for someone to “adopt” part or all of the treatments, including the initial survey of the collection. The treatments range in cost from about $225 per object/ group of objects to about $650 per object for the more extensive treatments, and the grand total for all of the objects is approximately $9,500.

Before and after conservation: Unknown maker, possibly Iranian from Luristan, Bell, pyramidal with triangular cutouts, copper alloy, n.d., possibly 1300-650 B.C.E., gift of Carl and Gail George, Union College Permanent, 1996x.1.23 UCPC