Dear all conservators and restorers,

My name is Qing Wu. I am a Master student, studying Conservation and 
Restoration in the Bern University of Arts (HKB), Switzerland. I am currently 
having a Master project, focusing on applying different analytical methods to 
investigate the foil structure and chemical state of Zwischgold/Part-gold. The 
purpose of this project is to provide scientific foundation for the evaluation 
of possible conservation/restoration treatments for Zwischgold. In order to 
successfully implement my project, I would like to ask you to do me a favour by 
filling a simple survey (4 questions) about the conservation of Zwischgold. 
Your kind help will be greatly appreciated.

Firstly I would like to give a short introduction about the background of 
Zwischgold and the scientific scope of my research:
"Zwischgold" (DE) or "part-gold" (EN) is commonly regarded as an economical 
alternative for gold leaves, which was historically applied to gilded artworks 
such as altars, sculptures and panel paintings. Normally, it was applied to 
less prominent areas such the gown folds of figures, rear side of altars and so 
on. Sometimes they were also used for specific areas such as the hair of 
figures due to its unique cold color tone comparing to pure gold. In this 
Master thesis, the research scope is restricted to two-sided metal foils that 
were made by adhering a gold leaf over a silver leaf with the cold welding  
(German: Kaltverschweissung) techniques. Without a varnish protection layer, 
these foils tend to corrode quickly in air, causing a darkened surface and 
gloss loss. However, after hundreds years' aging, some of the varnish layers 
can't provide proper protection anymore and thus we see darkened Zwischgold 
surface on art objects quite often. In the meanwhile, well preserved Zwischgold 
 bjects also exist everywhere, making it difficult to differentiate from gold 

Here are the questions:

1. How do you identify Zwischgold in its aged status (darkened surface) and 
also in its well-preserved status?

2. Have you ever applied any conservation and restoration treatment for 
darkened Zwischgold surface? If yes, what is it and how did you do it?

3. Have you done any scientific investigation about Zwischgold? If yes, what is 
it and have you gained any interesting result?

4. Would you like to participate in this Zwischgold project in future? 
Collaboration is always welcome!

Thank you very much for your time and effort again!

With best regards
Qing Wu
Master student in the Atelier of Painting and Sculpture (GUS)
Bern University of Arts (HKB)

Tel: 0041-774629968


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