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Non-destructive Identification and Classification of Iridescent Art Nouveau Artifacts

Art Nouveau iridescent glass (19/20th century) has been of great interest for public and private collections ever since this type of glass was produced. Because of increasing imitations of such artifacts, which have been notified in recent times, classification and provenance identification is necessary. Usually, that has been performed primarily by aesthetic and stylistic evaluations and comprehensive archive studies. Scientific measurements based on the chemical analysis have been carried out only in a few cases.

The goal of a project between several Austrian research institutions, the New-York-Historical Society/USA, the Glass Museum Passau/Germany and the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna has the aim to develop a recognition procedure for the provenance identification of iridescent Art Nouveau glass of the most famous glass manufacturers Tiffany/USA and Loetz/Austria based on non-destructive analytical techniques such as Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR) and x-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) supplemented with efficient data processing algorithms.

Further investigations are carried out in order to clarify the technology of producing an iridescent layer on glass surfaces of Tiffany and Loetz glass fragments using ion beam analysis (IBA) with external proton beam as well as using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS).

Project supported by the Austrian National Bank (Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Jubiläumsfonds).
Meausrements using IBA performed at the Research Centre Rossendorf/Germany were supported by the European Community FMGE-CT98-0146 (Large Scale Facility AIM Rossendorf)

Diploma and PhD Theses:

Dubravka Jembrih:
Identifikation und Klassifikation von irisierenden Jugendstilgläsern.
Diplomarbeit, TU Wien, November 1998

Dubravka Jembrih-Simbürger:
Identifizierung und Klassifizierung historischer Glasobjekte mit Methoden der Infrarot-, Röntgen-, Elektronen- und Ionenstrahlanalyse.
Dissertation, TU Wien, Jänner 2002


D. Jembrih-Simbürger, C. Neelmeijer, M. Schreiner, M. Mäder, M. Peev, C. Clausen, P. Krejsa:
Iridescent Art Nouveau glass of Tiffany and Loetz – characterisation of thin surface layers using ion beam analysis.
De l`Association Internationale pour l`Histoire du Verre (AIHV 15), New York 2001, USA, Annales du 15e Congres, 2003.

D. Jembrih-Simbürger, Ch. Neelmeijer, M. Mäder, M. Schreiner:
X-ray fluorescence and ion beam analysis of iridescent Art Nouveau glass – authenticity and technology.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research (NIM)-B 226 (2004) 119-125

D. Jembrih-Simbürger, Ch. Neelmeijer, M. Mäder, M. Schreiner:
Iridescent Art Nouveau Tiffany Glass – Simultaneous PIGE, PIXE, and RBS for non-destructive determination of the glass composition.
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Particle Induced X-ray Emission and its Analytical Applications, PIXE 2004, 845.1-845.4, Portoroz/Slovenia, June 2004

D. Jembrih-Simbürger, M. Schreiner, M. Peev, P. Krejsa, Ch. Clausen:
FTIR spectra of iridescent Art Nouveau glass artefacts.
Proceedings of the 6. Infrared and Raman Users Group Conference, 273-276, il prato 2005

M. Mäder, D. Jembrih-Simbürger, Ch. Neelmeijer, M. Schreiner:
IBA of iridescent Art Nouveau glass – comparative studies.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research (NIM)-B 239 (2005) 107-113

Poster 1 [pdf]

Poster 2 [pdf]

Poster 3 [pdf]