Wabash College Plaque Restoration by AC Wellman

AC Wellman was engaged by Continental Office to restore three antique plaques from Wabash College. The three plaques, Wilson, Cayou, and Harper were picked up at Wabash College and brought back to our shop.

1. CLEANING

The plaques were cleaned with soft plastic bristle brushes and mild soaps. There was more than 80-man hours spent cleaning the plaques.

2. BLASTING

After the paint stains and green patinas were removed, several shadow areas were exposed that could only be cleaned by being blasted with soda. Very little blasting was required because they were first cleaned with mild soaps and soft bristle brushes.

3. PATINA APPLICATION

Once the plaques were properly cleaned, the original patina was reapplied by sweating plaques and applying patina.

4. PASTE WAX APPLICATION

After the patina was applied, a generous layer of Johnson Paste Wax was applied to each plaque while the plaques were warm. This ensured that the wax penetrated all areas and pores of the bronze. Plaques were then packed and delivered to Wabash College.

During the restoration it was discovered that the Cayou and Harper plaques were created by the famous sculptor C. P. Jennewein. His career spanned more than 50 years and was world renowned at the time of his death in 1978. The two plaques were done in 1970 and he died in 1978. These two plaques may be some of the last of his works. Because of the notoriety of the artist and the high value of many of his works it is recommended that appraisals be conducted to determine if additional insurance coverage is warranted.

The Wilson plaque was also designed by a famous sculptor, Rudolph Schwartz. His studio was in Indianapolis, Indiana. His works can be found all around Indianapolis. It is also recommended that an appraisal be conducted as this plaque was one of the last designed by him and is more than 100 years old.

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