A hint of Orient in an Americana collection: Investigations into Chinese export furniture at Winterthur Museum

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Maria João Petisca; Stéphanie Auffret; Catherine Matsen; W. Christian Petersen; Jennifer Mass; Mark Anderson;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 61, Number sup3, p.85-90 (2016)


This paper discusses an ongoing treatment and research project focused on a group of black lacquer furniture created in China during the late eighteenth and first half of the nineteenth centuries, now in the Winterthur Museum collection in Delaware, USA. Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) allowed for a two-year collaborative project encompassing treatment and analytical study of a selection of six objects, of which three are illustrated here. Data from pyrolysis gas chromatography–mass spectrometry revealed a hitherto undetected separate urushiol lacquer–layer applied on top of a laccol layer on a center table and a six-panel screen.