The technical investigation of an eighteenth-century Chinese imperial carved lacquer screen and its role in developing an appropriate conservation treatment

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Václav Pitthard; Sabine Stanek; Martina Griesser; Christiane Jordan; Silvia Miklin-Kniefacz; Richard Miklin;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 61, Number sup3, p.97-108 (2016)


This paper gives an overview of the results of a comprehensive conservation research project on an eighteenth-century Chinese carved lacquer screen. Special emphasis was put on scientific analyses of the original materials and techniques. The object's history, previous restoration treatments, and the current condition were documented before the conservation treatment commenced. The extensive analytical investigations on a set of 24 samples, performed by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy as well as pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, helped to determine the stratigraphy of the lacquer screen and to reveal the compositions of the materials used. The results and information presented here are the products of an interdisciplinary collaboration of conservators and scientists, which contributed significantly to the preparation of a conservation strategy for the screen and helped in the selection of conservation techniques and the choice of appropriate conservation materials.