Applied Physics A

, 122:696 | Cite as

Characterization of the glaze and in-glaze pigments of the nineteenth-century relief tiles from the Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal

  • M. L. Coutinho
  • J. P. Veiga
  • L. C. Alves
  • J. Mirão
  • L. Dias
  • A. M. Lima
  • V. S. Muralha
  • M. F. Macedo
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Sustainable solutions for restoration and conservation of cultural heritage


The glaze and in-glaze pigments of the historical nineteenth-century glazed tiles from the Pena National Palace (Sintra, Portugal) were characterized using a multi-analytical approach. Chemical composition and microstructural characterization were ascertained by µ-PIXE, µ-Raman, optical microscopy and VP-SEM–EDS. The manufacturing technique and colour palette in these tiles were found to be close to the ceramic pigments used in traditional majolica. The blue and purple colours derive from cobalt oxide and manganese oxide, respectively. A mixture of Pb–Sn–Sb yellow with cobalt oxide and iron oxide was used for green and dark yellow, respectively, while grey tonalities consist of a complex mixture of cobalt oxide, manganese oxide and Pb–Sn–Sb yellow in different proportions. Results obtained allowed the determination of the oxides and elements used in pigments as well as production techniques, resorting to traditional majolica manufacture, although the tiles were produced by the end of the nineteenth century.


Cobalt Oxide Yellow Pigment Blue Pigment Ceramic Pigment PIXE Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia with predoctoral Grant No. SFRH/BD/46038/2008 and project UID/EAT/00729/2013. The authors acknowledge Parques de Sintra-Monte da Lua. Author J.P. Veiga acknowledges funding by FEDER funds through the COMPETE 2020 Programme and National Funds through FCT-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology under the project UID/CTM/50025/2013 and the funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme H2020-DRS-2015 no 700395 HERACLES project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LAQV, Requimte, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Conservação e Restauro, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  3. 3.Research Unit VICARTE, Vidro e Cerâmica para as Artes, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  4. 4.CENIMAT/I3N, Departamento de Ciência dos Materiais, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade NOVA de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  5. 5.C2TN/Instituto Superior TécnicoUniversidade de LisboaBobadela, LouresPortugal
  6. 6.Laboratório HÉRCULES, Escola de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade de ÉvoraÉvoraPortugal

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