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Anal Chim Acta. 2008 Aug 15;623(2):187-94. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2008.06.019. Epub 2008 Jun 22.

Analysis of a coloured Dutch map from the eighteenth century: the need for a multi-analytical spectroscopic approach using portable instrumentation.

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  • 1Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain. kepa.castro@ehu.es


A Dutch map from the eighteenth century was multi-analytically analysed making use of energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Raman and scanning electron microscopy coupled to energy dispersive spectrometry (SEM-EDS). The cellulosic support was characterised and its state of conservation was evaluated. Besides, paramagnetic impurities were detected together with copper metallic chips. The colours present in some areas of the map were also analysed. Vermilion, carbon black and organic pigments were found. Surprisingly, in the green areas, the rare presence of the mineral moolooite (copper oxalate) was detected. A possible biological attack is discussed in order to explain the presence of such compound. Almost all of the techniques used in the analysis were portable, non-destructive and non-invasive, which is very desirable when analysing objects belonging to Cultural Heritage. The need for a multi-analytical approach using portable instrumentation is also discussed.

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