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Theophilus and the shrine of Vitus – A goldsmith’s technique in the mirror of ancient references

Theophilus and the shrine of Vitus- A goldsmith’s technique in the mirror of ancient references

By H. Grieb

Proceedings of Metal 2004 (National Museum of Australia, 2004)

Abstract: This investigation of a Romanesque reliquary dating about 1200 AD, is a comparative study of Theophilus´ treatise On divers arts and other treatises, and the methods used for manufacturing this shrine. Scientific analysis of the shrine’s enamel and niello work reveal quantities of boron in the enamel, which are absent in the niello. A bibliographical survey documents acquaintance and use of borax in Greece, in the Arabic and European middle ages until today. The possible use of borax in niello and solder work in the time of the manufacturing of the shrine is presumed. According to present knowledge, two enamel sheets of the shrine can thereby dated to modern times.

Click here to read this article from the National Museum of Australia

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