A multi-analytical approach towards the investigation of Subarctic Athapaskan colouring of quillwork and its sensitivity to photo-degradation

L. G. Troalen*, S. Röhrs, T. Calligaro, C. Pacheco, S. Kunz, J. M. del Hoyo-Meléndez, A. N. Hulme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Non-European dyed materials other than textiles have received comparatively little systematic analysis, this is particularly true for objects made with dyed porcupine quills. This paper presents a comprehensive study of a group of Athapaskan porcupine quill specimens collected in 1862 which are held within the collections of National Museums Scotland, UK. Due to sampling limitations micro-destructive testing, or non-invasive analysis using PDA-UPLC, Raman Spectroscopy and PIXE were used to characterise the dye sources and metallic mordants. RBS was used to obtain additional information on the depth-profiling of the mordants in the keratin-based quill. The sensitivity of the quill specimens to photo-degradation was evaluated using Micro Fade Testing (MFT). The results from this multi-analytical study will be used to inform future display regimes of this unique collection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-91
Number of pages9
JournalMicrochemical Journal
Volume126
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016

Keywords

  • Dyestuffs
  • Mordants
  • Photo-degradation
  • PIXE/RBS
  • Porcupine quillwork
  • UPLC

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