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Sulfur Isotope Ratios in Ultramarine Blue: Application to Art Forgery Detection

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Abstract:

The variation of sulfur isotope ratios in ultramarine blue may have some use in the identification of type and source of this important artists' pigment. The distinction between synthetic and natural material, and the distinction of different sources of the latter, can be helpful in identifying forged paintings. The conversion of a 20-year-old mass spectrometer into a precision isotope ratio instrument and its use for the analysis of relatively small samples is described.

Keywords: Analysis for sulfur isotope ratios; Artists' pigments; Mass spectrometry, isotope ratios; Ultramarine blue

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/000370276774456750

Affiliations: Carnegie-Mellon Institute of Research, 4400 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213

Publication date: September 1, 1976

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