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Subject: Lead on icons

Lead on icons

From: Vera B. Espinola <icona>
Date: Thursday, October 18, 2001
Kiki Kagiopoulou <kkagiopoulou [at] yahoo__com> writes

>Using Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy in order to identify the
>components of varnish on Byzantine and Russian icons, has detected
>the presence of lead. I wonder where I could find information about
>the use of lead on icons since its presence seems to alter the
>component analysis of the icon.

>From my study of icons in Russia, it was reiterated that many of the
makers of old varnishes for icons had "secret" formulas designed to
protect the surface of the icon for 80 years or more. Some used
amber, some used gums, so it is not unusual to find many components
of a varnish upon analysis. I would assume your analyses show that
the ingredients vary from varnish maker to varnish maker. Ivan
Bentchev is a very reliable and knowledgeable source for icon
information. I do hope you publish your findings and let me (and the
conservation community) know your results.

Vera Espinola-Beery
Private icon conservator
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:33
                 Distributed: Friday, October 19, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-33-006
Received on Thursday, 18 October, 2001

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