Applied Physics A

, Volume 116, Issue 3, pp 1053–1058 | Cite as

Comparison of gold leaf thickness in Namban folding screens using X-ray fluorescence

  • Sofia Pessanha
  • Teresa I. Madeira
  • Marta Manso
  • Mauro Guerra
  • Agnès Le Gac
  • Maria Luisa Carvalho
Article

Abstract

In this work, the thickness of the gold leaf applied in six Japanese folding screens is compared using a nondestructive approach. Four screens belonging to the Momoyama period (~1573–1603) and two screens belonging to the early Edo period (~1603–1868) were analyzed in situ using energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence, and the thickness of the applied gold leaf was evaluated using a methodology based on the attenuation of the different characteristic lines of gold in the gold leaf layer. Considering that the leaf may well not be made of pure gold, we established that, for the purpose of comparing the intensity ratios of the Au lines, layers made with gold leaf of high grade can be considered identical. The gold leaf applied in one of the screens from the Edo period was found to be thinner than the gold leaf applied in the other ones. This is consistent with the development of the beating technology to obtain ever more thin gold leafs.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofia Pessanha
    • 1
  • Teresa I. Madeira
    • 1
  • Marta Manso
    • 1
  • Mauro Guerra
    • 1
    • 2
  • Agnès Le Gac
    • 1
    • 3
  • Maria Luisa Carvalho
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro de Física Atómica da Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento de Física, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal
  3. 3.Departamento de Conservação e Restauro, Faculdade de Ciências e TecnologiaUniversidade Nova de LisboaCaparicaPortugal

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