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Use of THM-PY-GC/MS technique to characterize complex, multilayered Chinese lacquer

Hao, Xinying, Schilling, Michael R., Wang, Xin, Khanjian, Herant, Heginbotham, Arlen, Han, Jing, Auffret, Stephanie, Wu, Xianjun, Fang, Beisong, Tong, Hua
Journal of analytical and applied pyrolysis 2019 v.140 pp. 339-348
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, Toxicodendron succedaneum, benzene, chemical composition, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, phenols, pyrolysis, sap, soot, tannins, trees, tung oil, China
Use of micro-destructive analytical techniques to explore the complex matrix composition, structure and lacquering techniques of multilayer lacquered objects has been the focus of many researchers. This work presents the results of a comprehensive investigation of the “Tixi” carved lacquer micro-sample excavated from Zhejiang province in China (Song Dynasty, A.D. 960-A.D. 1279). Stereomicroscopy, EPMA-EDS, FTIR, μ-RS and THM-Py-GC/MS were used in a comprehensive study of the object. The results show that the structure of the lacquer body consists of one wooden body layer, one lacquer ash layer, one ground lacquer layer and four lacquer film pigment layers, which indicates that it has been lacquered for several times. The chemical composition analysis results show that the lacquer stucco layer was made from the ashes by“Wan lacquering” craft. The lacquer film was made up of pigment (soot (black layer), orpiment (yellow layer), cinnabar (red layer)), lacquer sap, heat-bodied tung oil and tannins (partial layer); the presence of the series of catechols, acid catechols, phenols, alkyl benzenes, and hydrocarbons in which each has a maximum side chain length of 17 carbons and the most abundant member has nine carbons clearly indicate the species of the lacquer tree was Rhus succedanea that produces laccol. “Tixi” carved craft was used to make different lacquer film pigment veins layers appear simultaneously to emerge its unique characteristics like “drifting clouds and flowing water”.