Il Porcellino

PROJECT DATE : 10TH SEP 2016
project
Il Porcellino
client
City of Sydney
services
Sculpture Conservation, Memorial Conservation, Public Art

This beloved sculpture of a wild boar with a shiny gold snout is an exact replica of one by Italian artist Pietro Tacca, which has been on display in Florence since c. 1633. Located just outside Sydney’s oldest hospital, Sydney Hospital, on Macquarie Street, it is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors are encouraged to donate a coin through the boar’s open mouth (letting it fall into the pool beneath) and rub his snout afterwards for good luck. With all donations going towards the work of the hospital, it’s also a worthy cause.

Primarily made out of bronze, the sculpture sits above a pool containing an array of water creatures (tortoises, frogs, snails, lizards and crabs) and is mounted upon a sandstone base. The piece was donated to the City of Sydney by Marchesa Fiaschi Torrigiani in 1968, and is a memorial to her father and brother who both worked as surgeons at Sydney Hospital. 

Condition 

ICS was recently commissioned by the City of Sydney to carry out conservation and maintenance work to the Il Porcellino sculpture. As an outdoor monument regularly exposed to the elements, various condition issues needed to be addressed. These included:

  • Minor delamination, damage and build-up of biological growth on parts of the sandstone base
  • Minor areas of corrosion, wearing of patina and loss of wax on parts of the bronze sculpture
  • Loss of one of the four plaques on the sandstone base, and deterioration of the black lettering on the remaining plaques

Treatment

  • Cleaned the bronze sculpture, removed old wax, performed localised corrosion treatments and applied a protective coating
  • Cleaned the sandstone base, reduced staining, carried out repointing, and repaired deteriorated / missing sealing joints
  • Cleaned the plaques, infilled the lettering to match the original finish and waxed all

Download a PDF

project
Il Porcellino
client
City of Sydney
services
Sculpture Conservation, Memorial Conservation, Public Art
Before Treatment
After Treatment

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