In recent decades, research laboratories at major museums have started carrying out scientific analyses of their artefacts, often in preparation for exhibitions or during the process of acquiring new works.
At the same time, the development of fundamental university research in archaeometry, focusing on the production techniques, origins, and weathering of archaeological artefacts, has produced abundant documentary resources.
In just a few years, the scientific analysis of artefacts has been adopted by the experts as complementary to the stylistic approach for confirming suspicions or identifications, as well as authentication
The objective of analyses carried out by MSMAP laboratory, applying the same processes as those used in museum research laboratories, is to provide all the elements necessary to authenticate ancient artefacts.
The materials used, weathering, and production techniques, as well as the artistic and historical context are all specific to a culture, period, artistic technique, and, sometimes, even a particular artist. Our role is to detect any factors present that confirm an object's age and authenticity.
MSMAP laboratory develops and applies five main scientific approaches:
- Characterization of the materials used in the object;
- Analysis of the production techniques;
- The weathering condition of the material: natural, artificial, wear and tear, etc.;
- Identification of the preservation environment;
- A comparison of our observations with knowledge of the history of art and production techniques.
A combination of these approaches produces the indications necessary to authenticate the artwork or artefact analysed.
Depending on the objects and materials studied, additional imaging (X-ray, gamma-ray, UV, Infrared, etc.) and dating (Radiocarbon, Thermoluminescence, Lead 210) procedures may be required.
The analysis methods are chosen to suit the specific case and the level of accuracy required. As each study is unique, we work closely with our clients to answer their questions in as much detail as possible.