New development on materials and techniques used in the heraldic designs of illuminated Manueline foral charters by multi-analytical methods

A. Le Gac*, S. Pessanha, S. Longelin, M. Guerra, J. C. Frade, F. Lourenço, M. C. Serrano, M. Manso, M. L. Carvalho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the illuminated foral charters commissioned by D. Manuel I, King of Portugal (1495-1521), heraldry played a prominent role. In this work, royal emblems corresponding to the third heraldic design, applied to the Charter of Couto de Teixedo, are studied by means of EDXRF, SEM-EDS, micro-Raman, micro-FTIR and HPLC-DAD to characterize the materials and techniques used to produce this masterpiece of Portuguese Renaissance. By comparing this data with the results previously obtained in other three charters, this research allows for the first time an accurate insight into the reformed manuscripts production, especially since the illuminated charters under consideration were all investigated on the basis of similar micro-spectroscopic techniques. Inks, metal coatings, pigments, organic dyes, fillers or extenders, and binding media are discussed, and their use enlightened by the politic and legal messages the foral charters had to convey. Parchment analysis allowed us to identify the animal species, and all undertaken processes along its preparation. HPLC-DAD allowed us to differentiate the gums used. CaSO4 was observed in the parchment as a degradation product of CaCO3 used in parchment production in the presence of metal sulfates coming from the ink. Pigments used in the different colors as well as some specific phases for some colors were identified. Silvering and gilding processes, metal caratage and silver oxidation compounds were also objects of the present study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-257
Number of pages16
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Volume82
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Keywords

  • Cultural heritage
  • Illuminated manuscript
  • Micro-raman
  • Portable X-ray fluorescence
  • Scanning electron microscope

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