Magyar verzió
Sculpture restoration
Páhi Attila
My name is Attila Páhi. I was born in Budapest and I still live in the capital of Hungary. I am married, and I have got a son. I finished vocational school as a silversmith in 1988. Between 1988 and 1991 I worked at the National Mint - I made unique silver adornments in the goldsmith's workshop. Since 1988 I have been working as a goldsmith, and a silversmith, a jewellery- and pattern-maker. I received a gemstone- identifying degree in 2004.

I applied for the restorer department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in 1996. I finished here as a restorer and metal-goldsmith in 2001. The official number of my certificate is: III-09/1996. Since 2002 I have been running my own restorer-goldsmith-interior decorator company.

Since 2004 I have been lecturing for the Conservation Program of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. Within the scope of object restorer workshops I keep metal-restorer, and silversmith vocational practices.
I would like to present some of my works that demonstrate the variety of objects I have restored besides all of those pieces that were exhibited as reference works.

I. Restoration of metal objects:

1. The restoration of a 19th century Jewish ecclesiastical object, silver spice rack (bszamim):

Restoration of metal objects
The spice rack is the main object of Hávdálá (Szombatbúcsúztató). The earliest 16th century pieces formed towers with tracery balconies, convertible windows, and flags swinging on the top of the towers. The respect for tradition in Jewish ritual art has preserved, and even enriched the forms of these pieces; therefore, the use of spice racks became general in the 19th century. This above mentioned pure silver piece, which belongs to the collection of the Museum of Applied Arts, has also been made with the especially fine technique of filigree.

In case of the piece shown in the picture there are more missing parts: the two-third of the door is missing just as well as different parts from the samples; moreover, the support was in a rather ruined condition. In order to fill the missing parts I applied filigree technique. The extremely delicate filigree technique consists of making thin strands of the metal of different thickness that are used as lines on the works of art and to make shapes.

2. The restoration of an 18th century silver goblet:

restoration of an 18th century silver goblet - art copy
This piece of art is the possession of The Museum of Applied Arts. The work needed to be done focusing primarily on the ruined support of the goblet. I managed to repair it by soldering and hammering.

3. The restoration of a 2nd century Roman lion head-ornamented carriage curbing:

This piece of art is the possession of The Hungarian National Museum. During the renovation I had to disclose the previous restorations, and redone the item again. On its receipt its surface was covered with a thick coat of corrosion; I also noticed many missing parts. Although the item's original material is copper, I found expanded tinned parts. For that reason, any type of heating, or soldering would have made the tin layer vanish. Finally, I supplemented the missing parts with synthetic resin.

4. Making a brass copy of Endre Eörs's two clay sculptures:

It was an interesting task to work for a private collector. One of the sculptures depicts a scrivener student, the other a sitting woman. Following the sampling and the moulding of both sculptures I did the workmanship (chasing, weathering, polishing, finishing).

5. The restoration of a sacrificial vessel with a handle (patera):

This piece of art belongs to the collection of The Hungarian National Museum. The item was in pieces when I started renovating it. I had to put it together from four different pieces, and I had to supplement the missing parts in a quite expanded area. The existing four pieces were covered by a coherent layer of patina. I supplemented the missing parts with epoxi resin. The piece's material tapered because it had been overused to a great extent. This was one of the reasons that I did not use soldering. The complete and detailed workflow was written down in a study.

6. The restoration of two copper sarcophaguses and some door locks found in Grassalkovich castle.

This work was done in corporation with my master András Jeges the chief restorer of Budapest History Museum. There was a threat of the sarcophaguses being fragmented since they were completely corroded at the joints, and their inner fittings were also absolutely rusted. The golden parts in the corners of the sarcophaguses were also fully rusty. The restoration focused on the reparation of the joining parts and making the deformed parts even. Finally, the golden parts were replaced.

7. The restoration and replication of the crest found in Esterházy castle, Pápa.

This restoration task was also done together with András Jeges. The crest was some 2 metres high and was made of red copper membrane. Its surface was covered with chasing. The item was extremely corroded and it had many indentures and cavities. The replica replaced the original piece, and the restored one was exhibited in the castle's museum.

Further works of mine are the restoration of different silver, copper, brass, and tin pieces, and the reparation of a sword that was found in the river Danube and which dates back to the Ottoman rule in Hungary.

II. The making of unique metal banisters (copper, iron, wrought iron, stainless steel)

The making of a 2 x 9,5-metres length copper banister for the Museum of Fine Arts. To the procurer's liking I covered the new banisters with patina. They cut an antique dash.