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Wednesday, May 15 • 3:00pm - 3:30pm
(Research & Technical Studies) Glass Analysis Combining Elemental Imaging from Nanometer to Centimeter Scale With Quantitative Bulk Analysis: Characterizing a Carchesium with Silver Stain Enamel

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Silver stain luster and enameling of glass from the Syro-Palestine area is known to be critical for understanding the development of silver staining techniques. However, given the material complexity of objects possessing these features, they can be challenging to characterize. Key features must be understood at the nanometer (silver nanoparticles), micrometer (nanoparticle distribution and luster/enamel thickness), and bulk (base glass composition) scales. Consequently, there are relatively few studies of such breadth. This paper details a technical study that combines nano, micro, and macro material imaging techniques, as well as bulk quantitative analysis to elucidate the nature of a glass carchesium with hand-painted enamel decoration that was suspected to be a 1st c. Roman vessel at the time of acquisition. A variety of imaging techniques were combined with bulk analysis to characterize the object, including transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), imaging and bulk XRF measurements, strontium isotope analysis by multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS), and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). The carchesium was purchased in 1922 from New York dealer Fahim Kouchakji by Mrs. William H. Moore, who donated it to the Yale University Art Gallery in 1955. At the time of purchase the object was suspected to be 1st century Roman based on form, blue glass body, olive branch decorative elements, and splash glass decorative elements. The object, which recently underwent conservation treatment and was studied during that time, is significantly corroded in a manner consistent with a burial environment. Microscopic examination revealed that the decorative material was inset in the glass, with a layered structure consisting of alternating orange-brown and blue-green bands. Initial XRF point- and imaging-based measurements showed that the decorative enameling contained silver, and no other element that could easily explain the coloring. SEM/EDS and TEM measurements revealed the presence of silver nanoparticles and characterized their depth-dependent size and shape. Strontium isotope analysis suggested the lime was derived from a calcareous sand deposit rather than limestone. Quantitative XRF and ICP-OES measurements reveal a soda-lime base glass and an overall composition more consistent with Roman glass made in the Syro-Palestine area during the fourth to eight centuries. Work is ongoing to characterize the glass in the enamel layers quantitatively and model light-matter interactions with the nanoparticles to confirm they are responsible for the observed coloring. Additional future efforts will focus on the location of potentially similar objects in other collections.

avatar for Pablo Londero

Pablo Londero

Conservation Scientist, Yale University
Pablo Londero has worked as a conservation scientist for six years. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Rochester in 2005, specializing in quantum and nonlinear optical physics. He has held the position of Research Associate at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and... Read More →

avatar for Aniko Bezur

Aniko Bezur

Professional Associate, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University
Anikó Bezur received a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Arizona. As a doctoral candidate, she completed a internships in at the Arizona State Museum's Conservation Laboratory, the Smithsonian Institution's Museum Conservation Institute, and the Getty... Read More →
avatar for Brian McIntyre

Brian McIntyre

Lecturer, University of Rochester
Brian McIntyre has been associated with the University of Rochester/Institute of Optics for over 26 years. His initial position was in management of a new SEM facility serving the needs of the College of Engineering with an emphasis in optics. Before joining the Institute he managed... Read More →
avatar for Elena Torok

Elena Torok

Assistant Objects Conservator, Dallas Museum of Art
Elena Torok is the Assistant Objects Conservator at the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), where she works on the treatment, research, and long-term care of the collection. She earned her M.S. from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation in 2013 with concentrations... Read More →
avatar for Nicholas Bigelow

Nicholas Bigelow

Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Physics and Optics, University of Rochester
Dr. Nicholas Bigelow is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Material Science Program, and is Professor of Optics at the University of Rochester. His primary research is in the area of quantum physics and ultracold quantum gasses. He was the Principle Investigator... Read More →

Patrick Degryse

Professor of Archaeometry, University of Rochester
Patrick Degryse is professor at the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and director of the Centre for Archaeological Sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and professor of Archaeometry at the faculty of Archaeology in Leiden University (the Netherlands... Read More →
avatar for Ralph Wiegandt

Ralph Wiegandt

Visiting Scientist, University of Rochester
Ralph Wiegandt is a conservator trained in electron microscopy. Following an M.A. in conservation from the State University College of Buffalo he held conservator of objects position at the Henry Ford Museum and the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Pursuant advanced training in... Read More →

Wednesday May 15, 2019 3:00pm - 3:30pm EDT
Nehantic/Pequot/Paugussett Rooms Sky Convention Center, Mohegan Sun
  Specialty Session, Research & Technical Studies