Sampling precautions in the analysis of metallic antiquities

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Jedrzejewska, Hanna;


Studies in conservation, Volume 7, Number 1, p.27-32 (1962)


alloy, corrosion, metal, samples, testing


The author emphasizes the importance of correct sampling, and points out that incorrect results on the composition of antique alloys may be obtained through sampling an area which has suffered preferential corrosion. Four principles of testing are summarized:–(1) A representative number of samples should be taken in every case, and sufficient evidence brought to prove the correctness of every sample. The size and position of the sample, the structure of the object, the methods of testing, should all be clearly stated in the report. (2) Objects whose treatment after excavation has not been fully recorded are not to be used for reliable examination. (3) Premature and hasty cleaning should be recognized as the worst danger to the accumulation of knowledge. (4) The analyst should state in his report to what extent his samples are representative of the whole object, and should not extend his conclusions beyond this point. Garry Thomson