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Characterization of Natural Organic Binding Media in Museum Objects by Capillary Electrophoresis

[ Vol. 3 , Issue. 1 ]


Isabella Kaml and Ernst Kenndler   Pages 33 - 40 ( 8 )


Since ancient times many natural organic materials have been used in artistic and historic works as binders, adhesives, fillers and coatings. The identification of these materials is important not only for a proof of authenticity; for restorers and conservators it is essential to recognize the materials and technologies employed by artists and craftsmen. For identification and characterisation of the different natural organic binders spectrometric and chromatographic methods are well established. Recently, capillary electrophoresis has been introduced as an alternative technique to receive analytical information about the kind and composition of the binding media used in artefacts. These materials are waxes, resins, drying oils, animal glues and plant gums. In the present review the application of capillary electrophoresis in this area is discussed against the background of a general survey of the more common analytical techniques.


Capillary electrophoresis, Binding media, Museum objects, Art objects, Drying oils, Plant gums, Animal glues, Resin acids, Fatty acids, Amino acids


Institute for Analytical Chemistry, University of Vienna, Währingerstr. 38, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.

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