XRD and FTIR Characterisation of Lead Oxide-Based Pigments and Glazes

Jurate Senvaitiene, Junona Smirnova, Aldona Beganskiene, Aivaras Kareiva*

Department of General and Inorganic Chemistry, Vilnius University, Naugarduko 24, LT-03225 Vilnius, Lithuania.
Tel.: +370 5 2193110,
Fax: +370 5 2330987,
E-mail: aivaras.kareiva@chf.vu.lt.

This article covers the results of application of X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) in assessing the chemical and phase composition of ancient pigments, glazes and glazed pottery samples. In order to demonstrate the reliability of above mentioned techniques, the XRD and FTIR analyses were performed on the representative samples of the lead oxide (Pb3O4 or PbCO3 Pb(OH)2) based pigments and glazes. The analyzed glaze compositions contained silica and calcite as main constituents and pigments lead-tin yellow, smalt, Verona green, manganese black, Naples yellow and malachite as secondary phases. XRD analysis and FTIR spectroscopy have proven to be useful tools for qualitative determination of the composition of glazes. However, in some cases many problems concerning the identification of separate phases are still to be solved using other analytical techniques.

Keywords: pigments, glazes, pottery, XRD, FTIR, cultural heritage