JAIC 1982, Volume 21, Number 2, Article 6 (pp. 80 to 85)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1982, Volume 21, Number 2, Article 6 (pp. 80 to 85)


R. Newman, J. R. Dennis, & E. Farrell


Three of the six niello recipes in the Mappae Clavicula, a manuscript probably of 9th-century origin, direct that the metallic sulfides be ground up, mixed with vinegar to form an ink, designs written with this ink on the vessel, and the designs then heated to fix them into place. See recipes 56, 89b, and 206 in: C.S.Smith and J.G.Hawthorne, “Mappae Clavicula. A Little Key to the World of Medieval Techniques,” Transactions Am. Phil. Society, new series, 64 (1974).

Moss, A.A. “Niello.” St. in Cons.1 (1953), pp. 49–61.

Schweizer, F., in “Objets byzantine de la collection du Musée d'art et d'histoire.” Genava, new series, 25 (1977), pp. 51–61.

Oddy, W.A., S.LaNiece, and M.Bimson. “Composition of Niello Decoration on Gold, Silver, and Bronze Objects in the Antique and Medieval Periods,” Submitted to St. in Cons.

The results of these analyses were previously described in: J.R.Dennis, “Niello: A Technical Study.” Papers presented by trainees at the Art Conservation Training Programs Conference, April 30, May 1 & 2, 1979, Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, pp. 83–95.

Reference 4, analyses 1–3.

Reference 2, p. 61.

Pliny Hist. nat. XXXIII, Ch. 46.

Reference 1, recipe 56.

Reference 4, analysis 10.

Reference 3, p. 59.


Reference 4, analysis 18.

Schwarz, R. and A.Romero. “Zur Kenntnis der Tulalegierung (Eine Untersuchung uber das Dreistoffsystem Cu2S-Ag2S-PbS).” Zeitschrift fur anorganische u. allgemeine Chemie162 (1927), pp. 149–160.

Amcoff, O. “The solubility of silver and antimony in galena.” Neues Jahrb. Min., Mh.,1976, pp. 247–261.

Phases in this system have been studied by: (a) Djurle, S. “An X-ray study on the system Ag-Cu-S.” Acta Chem. Scandinavica12 (1958), pp. 1427–1436. (b) Skinner, B.J. “The System Cu-Ag-S.” Eco. Geo.61 (1966), pp. 1–26.

Reference 15(b), p. 10.

Grybeck, D. and J.J.Finney. “New Occurences and Data for Jalpaite.” Am. Mineralogist53 (1968), pp. 1530–1542.

Reference 3, p. 59.

Reference 4, analysis 17.

Copyright © 1982 American Institute of Historic and Artistic Works