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Subject: Glass beaded coin purse

Glass beaded coin purse

From: Amanda Pagliarino <amanda.pagliarino>
Date: Tuesday, October 30, 2001
A glass beaded coin purse (1800's) in our collection smells
distinctly 'vinegar-like'.  The purse is decorated mostly with clear
glass beads but features numerous clusters of blue glass beads each
with four metal beads in the centre.  The metal beads are quite
corroded, with the corrosion predominantly on the upper surface of
the beads.  The surface that is in contact with the netting and
purse lining shows virtually no corrosion. Samples of the corrosion
material have tested positive for carbonates.  The blue glass beads
are fragile and tend to separate and chip.  Under microscopic
examination many of the blue beads show fracture lines within their

Although there is no information on previous treatments it is
apparent that the purse has undergone restoration to rethread beads
over tears and losses in the supporting net.  These areas are easily
identified as lines of opaque beads have been included in the
rethreading.  The clear glass beads in the restorations do not
appear to be original as there is a slight size difference.  The
beads are not dull and may have been cleaned or polished as part of
the restoration.  There are no tide-lines or swill marks on the
lining fabric that would suggest a solvent treatment.

I would appreciate any information that may shed light on the strong
acidic smell associated with the purse and any treatment

Amanda Pagliarino
Conservator, Sculpture
Queensland Art Gallery

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:35
                 Distributed: Monday, October 29, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-35-029
Received on Tuesday, 30 October, 2001

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