An antiques dealer offered high quality 18th century Persian carpets for sale; at a suitably high price, of course. However, a customer became suspicious, so had his carpet checked out. Tests showed that some of the carpet fibres were dyed with Monastral Blue, a dye discovered. I hope he got his money back.
Have you ever wondered how experts decide whether a work of art is genuine?
You might like to …
• experiment with ways to extract dyes from pieces of scrap carpet made from various types of fibre
• investigate the use of thin layer chromatography to separate and identify dyes; find out about Rf values and the effects of using different eluents (solvents)
• look at natural and synthetic fibres under a microscope; describe the differences which could help to distinguish between wool, nylon and polypropylene carpet fibres
• research the methods used by experts to identify pigments in paintings (note: since pigments are insoluble, chromatography won’t work)
• find out about other investigative scientific methods used to distinguish genuine old paintings from modern reproductions artificially ‘aged’.