Non-destructive analysis of museum objects by fibre-optic Raman spectroscopy

Vandenabeele, Peter; Tate, Jim; Moens, Luc
February 2007
Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry;Feb2007, Vol. 387 Issue 3, p813
Academic Journal
Raman spectroscopy is a versatile technique that has frequently been applied for the investigation of art objects. By using mobile Raman instrumentation it is possible to investigate the artworks without the need for sampling. This work evaluates the use of a dedicated mobile spectrometer for the investigation of a range of museum objects in museums in Scotland, including antique Egyptian sarcophagi, a panel painting, painted surfaces on paper and textile, and the painted lid and soundboard of an early keyboard instrument. The investigations of these artefacts illustrate some analytical challenges that arise when analysing museum objects, including fluorescing varnish layers, ambient sunlight, large dimensions of artefacts and the need to handle fragile objects with care. Analysis of the musical instrument (the Mar virginals) was undertaken in the exhibition gallery, while on display, which meant that interaction with the public and health and safety issues had to be taken into account. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]


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