I'm no artist or sculptor but a classics graduate with a passion for Classical art and sculpture.
I am in need of advice from professionals regarding a recently acquired a bust from a car boot sale.
I purchased this for £16 and was hoping it might be possible to refurbish it for a Grey stone/marble look like the traditional classical sculptures and busts.
I have taken this to an antique dealer who did not particularly care for it and appeared to want me gone knowing he would make no money from me. He believes the material is plaster as it was cold and sounds hollow.
I also have taken this to the local Warhammer store where the staff were very interested and friendly and appeared to be knowledgeable. They remarked that the hair, base and drapery appear to be a kind of putty added after while the rest appears to be ceramic. He sanded a little off the bottom of the bust and when the paint underneath came away he was almost sure it was ceramic.
I would like to restore the piece because of the numerous brush strokes visible all over and the rather haphazard painting where certain parts have been left bare.
The Warhammer chaps suggested I begin with Acetone to reduce the brush marks down and then gentle sanding if that fails and they have kindly offered to paint/spray it in store with me when I reach a stage in which it can be done.
My main questions are:
Can anyone identify this material purely from the images I've provided? (I'm located in Cambridge UK if anyone local can help)
Is the advice of Acetone and sanding good? I don't want to risk losing detail or damaging the piece overall, but I'm aware once I begin this process there is no going back.
Is there any other recommendations for what to do?
Apologies if any of this sounds stupid, I simply have no idea when it comes to painting, stripping paint, sculpting or materials. I'm only familiar with art styles and forms of the ancient world. While this is clearly neo-classical inspired, it's modern so I know virtually nothing on how to approach this.