Cire-Perdue Metal Icons

Cire-Perdue Metal Icons


The Nepalese ritual and traditional icons of bronze and copper are famous the world over. The numerous art works in museums and personal collections reflect the superb skill and workmanship of the masters who produced them in the past. This great talent has been nurtured till today by not only the demand within Nepal for sacred and ritual icons but also by buyers from all over the world. These pieces are cast in the lost-wax or cire-perdue process. The technique involves the moulding of beeswax into the desired form, after which the wax is covered with a layer of fine clay and rice-chaff mixture. Meanwhile clay is also deftly tucked inside the image. Once the clay is heated, the wax melts out through a hole in the bottom to leave a hollow mould, hence the name 'lost wax'. When molten bronze has been poured inside and has cooled, the mould is broken and the piece released for further refining. Each piece is therefore unique and individually cast.

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