Maria von Geldern

Art-technological study and investigations of the state of preservation of the illuminated manuscript from the Netherlands „Maria von Geldern” of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin

In the framework of a new art-technological examination of the illuminated manuscript from the Netherlands „Maria von Geldern” at the occasion of its 600th anniversary new art-technological study and investigations of the state of preservation are performed.  The Investigation of the material and the state of preservation reach from completely non-destructive analyses to methods requiring tiny samples.   

The preliminary analyses comprise detailed microscopic examination using a digital microscope to evaluate the state of preservation and to identify the different materials. It is planned to perform chemical mappings to get an overview of the used pigments, inks, and overpaints etc. Particularly interesting areas are then studied using micro-XRF and micro-Raman analyses. 

Furthermore, measurements with a vis spectrometer are planned. They also allow getting insights into damages of the gilding.  Besides art-technological investigations examinations of the damages are necessary:

  • Why the parchment is damaged at special areas?
  • Was the parchment treated?
  • What is the origin of the observed damage?
  • Will the damage be enhanced over time?
  • And if yes, under which conditions?

For these purposes we paln to use vibrational spectral techniques such as micro-Raman and FTIR-spectroscopy. Additionally, if sampling is possible, ESEM- and FTIR investigations will be performed on cross sections. This would allow getting insights into the parchment structure and changes. In cooperation with the Helmholtz-Zentrum Materialien und Energien (HZB), Berlin-Adlershof and the Max-Planck-Institute for colloids and interfaces (MPIKG), Potsdam-Golm, FTIR imaging and small and wide angle scattering experiments are possible in order to characterize precisely the changes of the parchment structure.  The results of these investigations are the basis for the establishment of a new and efficient conservation concept.

Project partner: Ernst von Siemens Stiftung Partner: Staatsbibliothek, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz; Radboud University Nijmegen, BESSY II, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Materialien und Energien (HZB), Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung (MPIKG)
Duration: 2015 to 2016