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Subject: Drying sand

Drying sand

From: Deborah la Camera <dlacamera>
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
I am seeking thorough references to the historic use of sand as a
means to quickly dry fresh writing ink. In the writing of
manuscripts, sand was sprinkled on the wet ink of recently written
pages and shaken off in order to speed up drying.  Presumably, if
the ink was tacky enough, some of that sand would remain loosely
adhered to the surface of the ink lines.  I believe that I have
identified a late 17th- early 18th century Italian drawing on which
sporadic crystals, akin to drying sand remain loosely adhered to the
surface of the ink.  However, SEM/EDS analysis of those crystals
yielded results that I was not expecting.  Rather than silica, the
crystals proved to be a covalent potassium/calcium sulfate.

Hence, I would like to inquire if anyone has done, or knows of
published research regarding the analysis of drying sand for ink
writing. Alternatively, any historic references to the use of drying
sand that might indicate the exact nature of the crystal material
would be of great assistance.

Deborah Carton La Camera
Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Fellow
Virginia Deknatel Paper Conservation Laboratory
Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Fax: 617-536-3475

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:61
                 Distributed: Wednesday, March 24, 2004
                       Message Id: cdl-17-61-026
Received on Wednesday, 24 March, 2004

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