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Subject: Chinese lacquer

Chinese lacquer

From: Pat Griffin <griffin>
Date: Friday, May 25, 2001
Paul Harrison <paulehar [at] netvigator__com> writes

>Yesterday, I X-rayed a Sung Dynasty (960-1279 AD) red and black
>lacquered bowl. The result was very interesting, it appears that the
>inside is made of two types of wood: most of the bowl is a not so
>dense wood; the rim, just a centimetre or so, however is made of a
>much denser wood and the image is twice as opaque despite being half
>a millimetre thinner. Nothing at all of this is noticeable from the
>outside. I cannot do destructive testing; the artefact does not
>belong to the museum. Has anyone else noticed this or can shed more
>light on it?

Could the difference in radiodensity be related to the selective use
of the different colored lacquers?  My experience is that the red
lacquers are extremely radio-opaque due to their colorants (cinnabar
or minium).

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:65
                   Distributed: Monday, May 28, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-65-002
Received on Friday, 25 May, 2001

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