Musical instrument coatings are generally made by multi-layered systems of organic and inorganic materials, applied on the wood substrate by the violin makers during the finishing process. This coating has paramount relevance for several aspects: protection from sweat and dirt, increase of specific acoustic features, and especially aesthetic effects. In fact, the colour of historical bowed string instruments represents a very peculiar characteristic of each workshop. Among the various colourants, lakes are the most challenging to detect because of their sensibility to the alteration processes. In this work, non-invasive and micro-invasive procedures were applied to a set of mock-ups mimicking historical coatings systems prior and after artificial ageing, in order to highlight the overall information that can be recovered for the detection of madder lake in historical bowed instruments. A set of techniques, including colourimetry, visible and UV-light imaging, stereomicroscopy, Fibre Optics Diffuse Reflectance spectroscopy (FORS), X-ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy-Dispersive X-ray microprobe (SEM-EDX), and Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used in order to evaluate the pros and cons in the detection of organic and inorganic component of madder lake at low concentration levels.

Approaches for Detecting Madder Lake in Multi-Layered Coating Systems of Historical Bowed String Instruments

Fiocco, Giacomo;Gulmini, Monica;
2018

Abstract

Musical instrument coatings are generally made by multi-layered systems of organic and inorganic materials, applied on the wood substrate by the violin makers during the finishing process. This coating has paramount relevance for several aspects: protection from sweat and dirt, increase of specific acoustic features, and especially aesthetic effects. In fact, the colour of historical bowed string instruments represents a very peculiar characteristic of each workshop. Among the various colourants, lakes are the most challenging to detect because of their sensibility to the alteration processes. In this work, non-invasive and micro-invasive procedures were applied to a set of mock-ups mimicking historical coatings systems prior and after artificial ageing, in order to highlight the overall information that can be recovered for the detection of madder lake in historical bowed instruments. A set of techniques, including colourimetry, visible and UV-light imaging, stereomicroscopy, Fibre Optics Diffuse Reflectance spectroscopy (FORS), X-ray Fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF), Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with Energy-Dispersive X-ray microprobe (SEM-EDX), and Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used in order to evaluate the pros and cons in the detection of organic and inorganic component of madder lake at low concentration levels.
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madder lake; alum; varnish; musical instruments; UV fluorescence; FORS; XRF; FTIR; SEM-EDX
Fiocco, Giacomo; Rovetta, Tommaso; Gulmini, Monica; Piccirillo, Anna; Canevari, Claudio; Licchelli, Maurizio; Malagodi, Marco
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1667469
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