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Inks and Pigments

  • The writing materials used in various cultures and epochs can be divided into two groups. The first comprises materials that write themselves, producing script by rubbing their own material off onto the writing surface. It includes charcoal, graphite, chalk, raddle, and metal styluses. Depending on the material and consistency, these are cut or pressed to make styluses and then used for writing. The second group comprises all coloring liquids that are applied to the writing surface with a quill, pen, or printing block. It includes inks made from dye solutions (for example, tannin inks) and those made from pigment dispersions (for example, sepia, soot, and bister inks). The latter are sometimes also rubbed as pastes into letters incised into the writing surface, where they increase visual contrast. Due to the variety of recipes and the natural origin of raw materials, there is a wide range of different components and impurities in writing materials. Soluble inks (Tinten) SolubleThe writing materials used in various cultures and epochs can be divided into two groups. The first comprises materials that write themselves, producing script by rubbing their own material off onto the writing surface. It includes charcoal, graphite, chalk, raddle, and metal styluses. Depending on the material and consistency, these are cut or pressed to make styluses and then used for writing. The second group comprises all coloring liquids that are applied to the writing surface with a quill, pen, or printing block. It includes inks made from dye solutions (for example, tannin inks) and those made from pigment dispersions (for example, sepia, soot, and bister inks). The latter are sometimes also rubbed as pastes into letters incised into the writing surface, where they increase visual contrast. Due to the variety of recipes and the natural origin of raw materials, there is a wide range of different components and impurities in writing materials. Soluble inks (Tinten) Soluble inks are based mainly on dyes forming a water solution. Colored inks were manufactured with different plant or insect dyes (e.g. Brazil wood, kermes). To stabilize the volatile material, the dyes were mixed with a mordant (e.g., alum). Brown plant inks – best-known as blackthorn or Theophilus’ inks – are usually produced from the blackthorn bark and wine. In the early European Middle Ages, inks of this kind were widely used in the production of manuscripts in monasteries. Usually, they are light brown, so sometimes small amounts of iron sulfate were added, which led to what was called an “imperfect” iron gall ink. The difference between “classic” iron gall ink and such imperfect ink is therefore not clear: the distinction is not possible, especially with the naked eye. Dispersion inks (Tuschen) According to its generic recipe, one of the oldest black writing materials is produced by mixing soot with a binder dissolved in a small amount of water. Thus, along with soot, binders such as gum arabic (ancient Egypt) or animal glue (China) are among the main components of soot inks. From Pliny’s detailed account of the manufacture of various soot-based inks, we learn that, despite its seeming simplicity, producing pure soot of high quality was not an easy task in Antiquity. Therefore, we expect to find various detectable additives that might be indicative of the time and place of production. One such carbon ink requires the addition of copper sulfate . The experimental discovery of this ink in 1990 led to a misleading expression “metal ink” that is sometimes found in the literature. Colored dispersion inks based on pigments such as orpiment, cinnabar, or azurite have been known since Antiquity. Natural or artificially produced minerals are finely ground and dispersed in a binding medium. As in soot inks, water-soluble binders such as gum arabic or egg white were used. Iron gall ink (Eisengallustinten) Iron gall inks are a borderline case between these two groups. They are produced from four basic ingredients: galls, vitriol as the main source of iron, gum arabic as a binding media, and an aqueous medium such as wine, beer, or vinegar. By mixing gallic acid with iron sulfate, a water-soluble ferrous gallate complex is formed; this product belongs to the type “soluble inks”. Due to its solubility, the ink penetrates the writing support’s surface, making it difficult to erase. Exposure to oxygen leads to the formation of insoluble black ferric gallate pigment, i.e., “dispersion ink”. Natural vitriol consists of a varying mixture of metal sulfates. Since for ink making it was obtained from different mines and by various techniques, inks contain many other metals, like copper, aluminum, zinc, and manganese, in addition to the iron sulfate. These metals do not contribute to color formation in the ink solution, but possibly change the chemical properties of the inks.zeige mehrzeige weniger

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Metadaten
Autoren/innen:Oliver Hahn
Koautoren/innen:Ira Rabin
Dokumenttyp:Vortrag
Veröffentlichungsform:Präsentation
Sprache:Englisch
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2017
Organisationseinheit der BAM:4 Material und Umwelt
4 Material und Umwelt / 4.5 Kunst- und Kulturgutanalyse
DDC-Klassifikation:Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / Chemie / Analytische Chemie
Freie Schlagwörter:Material analysis; Medieval ink; Medieval pigment
Themenfelder/Aktivitätsfelder der BAM:Analytical Sciences
Veranstaltung:Manusciences 17
Veranstaltungsort:Frejus, France
Beginndatum der Veranstaltung:10.9.2017
Verfügbarkeit des Dokuments:Datei im Netzwerk der BAM verfügbar ("Closed Access")
Datum der Freischaltung:02.01.2018
Referierte Publikation:Nein