JAIC 1984, Volume 23, Number 2, Article 2 (pp. 88 to 100)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1984, Volume 23, Number 2, Article 2 (pp. 88 to 100)

TECHNICAL EXAMINATION OF RENAISSANCE MEDALS THE USE OF LAUE BACK REFLECTION X-RAY DIFFRACTION TO IDENTIFY ELECTROFORMED REPRODUCTIONS

Glenn Wharton




REFERENCES

For information on casting and striking processes, see: Beale, Arthur. “A Technical View of Nineteenth Century Sculpture,” Metamorphoses in Nineteenth Century Sculpture. JeanneWasserman. (Harvard University Press, Cambridge Ma. 1975.) pp. 29–54. Cellini, Benvenuto. trans. Ashbee, C.R.The Treatises of Benvenuto Cellini. (Dover Publications, Inc., N.Y., 1967.) pp. 67–69, 112–126. Cennini, Cennino D'Andrea. trans. Thompson, Daniel V., Jr.The Craftsman's Handbook. (Dover Publications, Inc., N.Y., 1960.) p. 130. Hill, George. Medals of the Renaissance. revised by Pollard, Graham. (British Museum Publications, Ltd., 1978.) pp. 23, 27, 29–30. Jones, Mark. The Art of the Medal. (British Museum, London, 1979.) 177 PP. Maryon, Herbert. Metalwork and Enameling. (Dover Publications, Inc.N.Y., 1971) pp. 200–227. Middledorf, Ulrich, and Goetz, Oswald. Medals and Plaquettes from the Sigmund Morgenroth Collection. (The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1944.) pp. xi–xiv, 3–60. Tuttle, Patricia. “An Investigation of Renaissance Casting Techniques of Incuse-Reverse and Double Sided Medals” (Upcoming publication of the “Italian Medals Symposium,” sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. March 29–30, 1984.) Untracht, Oppi, Metal Techniques for Craftsmen. (Doubleday and Co., Inc., Garden City, N.Y., 1975.) pp. 341–378. Vasari, Giorio. trans. Louisa S.Maclehose. Vasari on Technique. (J. M. Dent & Co., London, 1907.) pp. 161–166, 199–202. Weiss, Roberto. Pisanello's Medallion of the Emperor John VIII Paleologus. (University Press, Oxford, 1966.)32 pp.

For more information electroforming processes, see: Bart, S.G.“Historical Reflections on Electroforming.” Symposium on Electroforming — Applications, Uses, and Properties of Electroformed Metals. The American Society for Testing Materials, Special Publications Number 318. (A.S.T.M. Philadelphia, 1962.) p. 172. Bouant, Emile. La Galvanoplastie: Le Nickelage, La Dorure, L'Argenture, et L'Electrometallurgie. (Librarie J.B. Baillière et Fils, Paris, 1887.) (M.I.T. Archives.) pp. 71–141. Illustrated London News. 42. “Memorial of the Great Exhibition of 1851.” (June 17, 1863.) (M.I.T.) p. 696. Napier, James. A Manual of Electro-Metallurgy: Including the Applications of the Art to Manufacturing Processes. (Henry Carey Baird, Philadelphia, 1853.) (M.I.T. Archives.) pp. 127–166, 217–222, 288–295, 324–328. (Second Edition, 1876.) pp. 188–194. Newman, Lee Scott, and Newman, Jay Hartley. Electroforming For Artists and Craftsmen. (Crown Publishers, Inc., N.Y., 1979.) 94 pp. Mason, David. “Electroforming a Crown.” Electroplating and Metal Finishing. 22, No. 7. (July 1969.) pp. 22–28. Raub, E. and Muller, K.Fundamentals of Metal Deposition. (Elsevier Publishing Co., 1967.) pp. 1–149. Smee, Alfred. Elements of Electro-Metallurgy. (Longman, Brown, Green & Longman, London, third edition, 1851.) pp. 147–164, 253–288. Smith, Cyril Stanley. “Reflections on Technology and the Decorative Arts in the Nineteenth Century.” Technological Innovation and the Decorative Arts. Winterthur Conference Report. 1973. eds.Quimby, Ian and Early, Polly Anne. (The University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1974.) pp. 30, 35–36. Smith, Cyril Stanley. “The Beginnings of Industrial Electro-Metallurgy.” Selected Topics in the History of Electro-Metallurgy. eds.Dubpernell, G. and Westbrook, J.H. (Electrochemical Society, Princeton, N.J., 1978.) pp. 360–405. Spiro, Peter. Electroforming. (Robert Draper, Ltd., Teddington, England, 1971.) Untracht, Oppi. Metal Techniques for Craftsmen. (Doubleday and Co., Inc., Garden City, N.Y., 1975.) pp. 379–391.

Beale, Arthur. “Surface Characteristics of Renaissance Medals and Their Interpretation.” (Upcoming publication of the “Italian Medals Symposium,” sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. March 29–30, 1984.)

This initial assumption was supported in private communication with Professor Merton Fleming, Chairman of the Department of Material Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 29, 1982.

Unfortunately, all copper alloy medals are usually described as “bronze” in the literature. Recent X-ray fluorescence analysis performed at the Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at the Fogg Art Museum indicates that Renaissance medals are actually composed of a wide range of alloys, including bronze, brass, latten (copper, tin, zinc, and lead), lead/tin, and pewter. Farrell, Eugene. “Non-Destructive Instrumental Analysis of Medals” (Upcoming publication of the “Italian Medals Symposium,” sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. March 29–30, 1984.)

Hill, George. op. cit. pp. 30, 32. Weiss, Roberto. op. cit. pp. 9–10.

Napier, James. op. cit. (Second edition.) p. 186.

Cellini, Benvenuto. op. cit. pp. 98–102.

Hill, George. op. cit. pp. 33–34. Untracht, Oppi. op. cit. pp. 415–419. Vasari, Georgio. op. cit. pp. 166.

Raub, E. and Muller, K.op. cit. pp. 65–72.

Farrell, Eugene. op. cit.

The application of this technique to works of art was first described by Young, William. J. “Examination of Works of Art Embracing the Various Fields of Science.” Application of Science in Examination of Works of Art. (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1959.) pp. 26, 30.

Cullity, B.D.Elements of X-Ray Diffraction. (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., Reading, Ma., 1978.) pp. 296, 233–247. Quinn, T.F.J.X-Rays, Electrons, and Crystalline Materials. (Butterworth & Co., London. 1970.) pp. 61–67.

Cullity, B.D.op. cit. pp. 153, 281–292. Taylor, A.. X-Ray Metallography. (John Wiles & Sons, Inc., N.Y.1961.) pp. 665–666.

The use of this technique is described in: Quinn, T.F.J.op. cit. pp. 71–73.

Polaroid Land Rapid Process Film was used in this experiment. The film holder was a Polaroid XR-7 Land Diffraction Cassette, purchased from Blake Industries, 600 Scotch Plains Rd., Jerusalem Plains, N.J. 07076. This flat-plate camera contains an intensifying screen to convert X-rays into visible light which in turn exposes the film. An aluminum holder for the medals was specially designed with an adjustable support. This allowed exact positioning of the medal where the beam was to strike the surface.

Cullity, B.D.op. cit. p. 282.

Cullity, B.D.Ibid. pp. 292–293.

Bailey, A.R.A Text-Book of Metallurgy. (Macmillan, London, 1960.) p. 115B. Guy, Albert G., Elements of Physical Metallurgy. (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Inc., Reading, Ma., 1959.) 436.

Berry, L.G. and Thompson, R.M.X-Ray Powder Data for Ore Minerals: The Peacock Atlas. (Waverly Press, N.Y.1962) p. 11.


Copyright © 1984 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works