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Anal Bioanal Chem. 2007 Feb;387(3):847-60. Epub 2006 Jul 13.

Non-invasive and non-destructive micro-XRF and micro-Raman analysis of a decorative wallpaper from the beginning of the 19th century.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, University of the Basque Country, P.O. Box 644, 48080, Bilbao, Spain.


Non-destructive and non-invasive micro-Raman fibre optic and micro-XRF analyses were performed to study a wallpaper from the beginning of the 19th century. The complementarity of these two non-destructive techniques is shown in this work. The analysed artwork is considered one of the most beautiful wallpapers ever manufactured according to the catalogues and books; it is known as Chasse de Compiègne, manufactured by Jacquemart, Paris, in 1812. During the analysis, an unexpected pigment was detected by both analytical techniques: lead-tin yellow type II. This pigment was used until ca. 1750, when other yellow pigments replaced it, thus it is very difficult to find it in paintings afterwards. Together with this pigment, red lead, Prussian blue, brochantite, yellow iron oxide, calcium carbonate, vermilion, carbon black of animal origin (bone black), lead white, and raw and burnt sienna were also determined by combining the analytical information provided by both techniques. A possible degradation of brochantite to antlerite is also discussed.

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