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05-Nov-2019 03:47

A copy of the late 20th century can easily be distinguished.Additionally, since the halt of nuclear testing in the atmosphere, which took place in the early 1960s, the diminution of the amount of C-14 has been very regular.Art historically, testing the € 5000 masks or figures could be far more interesting, while in such instances the cost is disproportionally large.There are different approaches for determining the authenticity of antique paintings: - verifying authenticity through a purely stylistic evaluation - verifying the authenticity of a painting by means of objective tests of the ageing of the material - verifying the authenticity of a painting with the use of scientific instrumental methods.Due to technical reasons, using a C-14 test for an object dating between the eighteenth and middle twentieth century (being the most relevant period for African art), remains problematic (partly to blame on the Industrial Revolution).

Thanks to the laboratory's modern equipment, a painting can be subjected to analysis using infrared reflectography, Wood's light, a stereoscopic microscope, IR spectroscopy and other instrumental techniques.3 e 4 - Microscopic analysis to examine the signs of ageing in the paint layer: the nature of the craquelure (natural or artificial - deep or superficial), the pigments (crystallinity, purity and size), restoration and other factors.

This proves a C-14 test should always be complemented by art historical research.

Where C-14 testing could become important is by the definitive determination of whether the tested material existed before or after 1954. The atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and especially the extensive nuclear testing that continued in the 1950s, resulted in a near doubling of the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere.

For example, the results for a tested mask were: 1661-1664 (20,4 %), 1735-1806 (54%) and 1930-1954 (21 %).

The second half of the 18th century here is the most probable period of the object’s manufacture, though for an African mask this is a very early date – the last interval thus might be the correct one.

Thanks to the laboratory's modern equipment, a painting can be subjected to analysis using infrared reflectography, Wood's light, a stereoscopic microscope, IR spectroscopy and other instrumental techniques.3 e 4 - Microscopic analysis to examine the signs of ageing in the paint layer: the nature of the craquelure (natural or artificial - deep or superficial), the pigments (crystallinity, purity and size), restoration and other factors.

This proves a C-14 test should always be complemented by art historical research.

Where C-14 testing could become important is by the definitive determination of whether the tested material existed before or after 1954. The atomic bombs over Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and especially the extensive nuclear testing that continued in the 1950s, resulted in a near doubling of the amount of C-14 in the atmosphere.

For example, the results for a tested mask were: 1661-1664 (20,4 %), 1735-1806 (54%) and 1930-1954 (21 %).

The second half of the 18th century here is the most probable period of the object’s manufacture, though for an African mask this is a very early date – the last interval thus might be the correct one.

The art market will become trustworthy only when the art lover becomes a connoisseur and, as envisaged by the law, demands a valid certificate.