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Subject: Laser repairs to antique precious metals

Laser repairs to antique precious metals

From: Jack Ogden <jack>
Date: Tuesday, February 24, 2004
The following has just gone out with the International Jewellery and
Precious Metal Network (JPM) email newsheet

 ... and I'd love to hear of any personal experiences using laser
 welding on antique precious metal pieces (or experiences trying to
 resist pressure to use it...)

Laser welding is now commonplace in jewellery manufacturing and
repair. The technique, which affects only microscopic areas and uses
very localised heat, is increasingly being used to make almost
imperceptible repairs on antique gold jewellery. Those involved with
antique jewellery in any capacity should recognise the
characteristic weld marks (for examples on a Victorian locket hinge
see <URL:> ).

A use of laser welding in the restoration of a seventeenth century
enamelled gold and silver monstrance has recently been published

    C. Innocenti, G. Pieri, M. Yanagishita, R. Pini, S. Siano and A.
    Zanini.  Application of laser welding to the restoration of the
    ostensory of the martyr St. Ignatius from Palermo. Journal of
    Cultural Heritage, 4, no. Supplement 1 2003-362-366--first
    reported at a conference on Lasers in the Conservation of
    Artworks (LACONA) held in Paris in 2001.

The authors believe that this is first application of laser welding
in the conservation of a work of art. The 'non-reversibility' of the
joining process will attract some criticism from within the
conservation community.

By the way if any of you would like a copy of the whole newssheet by
email (topics range from recently excavated ancient jewellery to De
Beers talk's with the US Justice Department) just send an email to
info [at] jpm-international__com and put 'sample' in the subject line. The
newsheet goes out two or three times a month and it's free to sign

Jack Ogden
International Jewellery and Precious Metal Network (JPM)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:57
                  Distributed: Tuesday, March 2, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-57-006
Received on Tuesday, 24 February, 2004

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