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Subject: Iron armatures in Chinese ceramics

Iron armatures in Chinese ceramics

From: Robert Parthesius <parthesi>
Date: Thursday, November 28, 1996
Lisa Bruno <lbruno [at] hotmail__com> writes

>For the recent reinstallation of the Chinese Galleries at The
>Brooklyn Museum, I treated a tomb model of a Horse and Rider.
>An iron armature has been fired into the ceramic at the horse's
>front and back legs.  The armature is completely mineralized and has
>caused the ceramic to break at both legs.

I was very interested by your message over iron armatures in a
chinese horse. As a matter of fact I had a similar case last year
for which I could not really find an explanation.

I treated a tomb model of a grey clay horse with rider, unglazed but
with rests of polychromie, with 4 broken legs. It belong to a group
of figures dated by TL between 300 to 900  AD.  It is suppose to
come from North China. By examination I saw some traces of iron on
the break edges of the legs, my first thought was the iron had been
used to repair the legs an but on X-ray we saw that square iron bars
were going from leg to the other through the body in a U shape both
at the front and the back legs. The disintegration of the iron had
been causing some damage on places along the legs. After searching
in the literature I saw this technique is mentioned in the articles
S. Koob is naming. It comforted me in the idea they were iron
armatures backed with the object.

I. Garachon,

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:52
                Distributed: Wednesday, December 4, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-52-006
Received on Thursday, 28 November, 1996

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