Two medieval illuminated parchment scrolls of the Museo Diocesano of Bari (Italy), i.e., the Exultet I and the Benedictio ignis et fontis, were examined.Micro-samples of parchment were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) for the identification of collagen and its animal origin. Thanks to the overlapping folios, representing a unique situation for illuminated manuscripts, it was possible to sample tiny amounts of paint layers. A very small fraction was first investigated by pyrolysis-gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py-GC–MS), laying the way for an overview of all organic components. Detailed information on polysaccharides, and proteins and lipids were then attained by performing GC–MS andMALDI-MS analysis, respectively. Accordingly, the presence of paint binders based on egg white with the addition of some egg yolk was established in the Benedictio ignis et fontis, whereas in the Exultet I collagen and a fruit tree gum were identified, the latter probably due to a surface treatment of the entire scroll. The proposed multi-technique approach using easy sample pre-treatments on very small samples may shed a light on the medieval paint recipes and on the type of animal hides used for manufacturing this kind of precious parchment scrolls.

Chemical characterization of medieval illuminated parchment scrolls

VAN DER WERF, INEZ DOROTHE'
;
CALVANO, COSIMA DAMIANA;GERMINARIO, GIULIA;CATALDI, Tommaso;SABBATINI, Luigia
2017

Abstract

Two medieval illuminated parchment scrolls of the Museo Diocesano of Bari (Italy), i.e., the Exultet I and the Benedictio ignis et fontis, were examined.Micro-samples of parchment were analyzed by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) for the identification of collagen and its animal origin. Thanks to the overlapping folios, representing a unique situation for illuminated manuscripts, it was possible to sample tiny amounts of paint layers. A very small fraction was first investigated by pyrolysis-gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (Py-GC–MS), laying the way for an overview of all organic components. Detailed information on polysaccharides, and proteins and lipids were then attained by performing GC–MS andMALDI-MS analysis, respectively. Accordingly, the presence of paint binders based on egg white with the addition of some egg yolk was established in the Benedictio ignis et fontis, whereas in the Exultet I collagen and a fruit tree gum were identified, the latter probably due to a surface treatment of the entire scroll. The proposed multi-technique approach using easy sample pre-treatments on very small samples may shed a light on the medieval paint recipes and on the type of animal hides used for manufacturing this kind of precious parchment scrolls.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/189379
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