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Subject: Chinese lacquer

Chinese lacquer

From: Marianne Webb <mariannw>
Date: Friday, June 1, 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?

It is quite common to reinforce the edges of bowls with additional
layers of cloth and/or clay. This may appear more dense on the X-ray

Marianne Webb
Decorative Arts Conservator
Royal Ontario Museum

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:1
                  Distributed: Wednesday, June 6, 2001
                        Message Id: cdl-15-1-007
Received on Friday, 1 June, 2001

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