Journal article Open Access

Material characterisation of a painted beehive panel by advanced spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques in combination with hyperspectral imaging

Retko, Klara; Kavčič, Maša; Legan, Lea; Ropret, Polonca; Rogelj Škafar, Bojana; Gao, Yingwang; Gilchrist, John; Strlič, Matija; Kralj Cigić, Irena

In this study, a painted beehive panel from the collection of the Slovene Ethnographic Museum was examined with respect to its material composition with the aim to reveal the painting technique. Due to the state of degradation due to outdoor weathering (UV irradiation, rainfall, extreme temperature and humidity fluctuations), as well as past conservation interventions, the object represented a complex analytical challenge. We aimed for non-invasive techniques (FTIR in reflection mode, Raman spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging in the range of 400–2500 nm); however, in order to explore paint layers, cross-sections were also analysed using Raman spectroscopy. FTIR spectroscopy in transmission mode and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry were also used on sample fragments. Various original materials were identified such as pigments and binders. The surface coating applied during conservation interventions was also characterised. Additionally, organic compounds were found (oxalate, carboxylate), representing transformation products. The potential use of Prussian blue as a background paint layer is discussed.

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