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Metal threads in Qing Dynasty Chinese ‘silk and metal carpets’

TitoloMetal threads in Qing Dynasty Chinese ‘silk and metal carpets’
Tipo di pubblicazioneArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Anno di Pubblicazione2023
AutoriMirabile Gattia, Daniele, and Seccaroni Claudio
RivistaJournal of Cultural Heritage
Paginazione58 – 62
Type of ArticleArticle

Chinese ‘silk and metal carpets,’ mainly made by imperial workshops during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), are very luxurious and until now have not scientifically and technically been investigated. From the point of view of materials, a typical feature is the presence of metal threads which embellish backgrounds or details with a precious and golden appearance. Metal threads from a wide number of Chinese carpets were non-destructively investigated by XRF, while an in-depth characterization by SEM-EDS was performed on samples from few carpets. Although copper is always the main constituent of very thin metallic strips wound around a core of silk, the obtained results showed three types of strips, different in terms of materials and/or methods of making. The most frequent typology, covering over 85% of the investigated carpets, derives from the drawing of brass-plated copper wires. The obtained results are read and interpreted according to geographical and historical context, pertaining to the metallurgy and the making of metal threads, extending the comparisons also to other contexts in eastern and western world, during the ages. © 2023 Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)


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Citation KeyGattia202358