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Restaurator. International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material

Editor-in-Chief: Eyb-Green, Sigrid / Henniges, Ute


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Volume 38, Issue 4

Issues

Analysis of Deterioration Phenomena in a Koran by Nineteenth Century Ottoman Calligrapher Mehmed Şevki

Nurçin Kural Özgörüş
  • Corresponding author
  • Sakıp Sabancı Museum, Emirgan Mahallesi, Sakıp Sabancı Cd. No.42, 34467 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Turkey
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/ Cüneyt H. ÜnlüORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7337-9697 / Orhideja Grupče
  • Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, “Ss Cyril and Methodius” University, Arhimedova 5, 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
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/ Feray Bakan / Meltem Sezen
Published Online: 2017-10-10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/res-2017-0002

Abstract

A Koran written by Mehmed Şevki is the subject of this comparative analysis. This manuscript displayed an extensive degree of deterioration in 28 of the folios, while the rest of the manuscript is in considerably better condition. The aforementioned deteriorated sections of the book proved to be brittle and much darker in colour compared to the rest of this manuscript. The possible cause for this condition was ascertained using complementary techniques including the utilisation of micro-chemical (spot) tests, SEM-EDS, FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. The Micro-chemical Herzberg test indicated rag fibres in the paper used for the Koran, while the Raspail test #1 revealed rosin only in the sizing material of the deteriorated folios. SEM-EDS identified the presence of iron in all layers of the deteriorated folios but not in the stable folios. These results led subsequently to the conclusion that the deterioration of the folios was in fact related to the acid-catalysed hydrolysis due mainly to the presence of rosin and oxidation processes promoted by iron ions. This finding was also supported by FTIR analysis. The analyses indicated that different sizing materials had been used in the papermaking process of the two types of folios. In addition, Raman, EDS and HPLC techniques were also applied for the characterization of the inks and dyes. The results showed that inks and dyes were consistent throughout the entire text, thus suggesting calligrapher Mehmed Şevki and illuminator Hüseyin processed the book continually. It is plausible that calligrapher Mehmed Şevki changed his paper supply during the writing process which is why today we see a variety of differences in the condition of the papers.

Zusammenfassung

Untersuchung von Abbauphänomenen in einem Koran des Ottomanischen Kalligraphen Mehmed Şevki aus dem 19. Jahrhundert.

Der vorliegende Beitrag beschäftigt sich mit einem vom Kalligraphen Mehmed Şevki geschriebenen Koran. Während 28 Lagen des Buches starke Verfärbungen und Versprödung aufweisen, sind die restlichen Lagen in sehr gutem Erhaltungszustand. Um mögliche Ursachen für diesen unterschiedlichen Erhaltungszustand des Papiers innerhalb eines Buches zu untersuchen, wurden einander ergänzende Methoden angewendet, die mikrochemische Spot-Tests, SEM-EDS, FTIR und Raman Spektroskopie umfassten. Mittels Herzberg Test konnten Hadernfasern als Rohmaterial für alle Papiere identifiziert werden; in den stark abgebauten Papieren wurden mittels Raspail Test Harz in der Leimung und mittels SEM-EDS Eisen in allen Papierbereichen nachgewiesen; in den gut erhaltenen Papieren war sowohl der Nachweis auf Harze als auch auf Eisen negativ. Aus diesen Ergebnissen kann geschlossen werden, dass der Abbau des Papiers auf durch die Harzleimung verursachte säurekatalytische Abbbauprozesse und auf durch Eisenionen beschleunigte Oxidationsprozesse zurückgeführt werden kann. Die FTIR Analyse bestätigte die Untersuchungsergebnisse. Beim Herstellungsprozess waren die verschieden gealterten Papiere also unterschiedlich geleimt worden. Raman, EDS and HPLC wurden darüber hinaus für die Charakterisierung der Tinten und Farbstoffe angewendet. Die Ergebnisse dieser Analysen zeigten, dass im gesamten Buch dieselben Tinten und Farbstoffe verwendet wurden, woraus geschlossen werden kann, dass der Kalligraph Mehmed Şevki und der Illuminator Hüseyin ohne Unterbrechung an dem Buch arbeiteten. Wahrscheinlich verwendeten sie im Lauf ihrer Arbeit an dem Koran allerdings zwei unterschiedliche Papiersorten, was den unterschiedlichen Erhaltungszustand der Papiere erklärt.

Résumé

Analyse comparative d’un Coran du 19 ème siècle du calligraphe ottoman Mehmed Şevki

Le Coran écrit par Mehmed Şevki est l’objet de cette analyse comparative, étant donné que 30 folios présentent un important degré de détérioration alors que le reste du manuscript est en bien meilleur état. Plusieurs techniques ont été utilisées pour élucider la cause de cet état: la microscopie électronique à balayage (SEM) et l’analyse dispersive en énergie (EDS), la spectroscopie infrarouge à transformée de Fourier (IRTF) et la microspectroscopie Raman. Les analyses SEM-EDS ont révélé la présence de fer à tous les niveaux sur les folios dégradés mais pas sur les folios dont l’état est stable. Ce résultat a permis par la suite de conclure sur le fait que la détérioration des folios résulte du processus d’oxydation résultant lui-même de la présence de fer. Ceci a été confirmé par les analyses IRTF, montrant que l’oxydation a eu lieu. Il est possible que ceci résulte de l’emploi de différents aluns contenant du fer ayant été ajoutés à l’encollage lors de la fabrication du papier. Par la suite, les techniques Raman et EDS ont servi à caractériser les pigments et teintures. Les résultats montrent que les encres et teintures employées sont les mêmes dans tout le texte ce qui permet de conclure sur le fait que le calligraphe Mehmed Şevki et l’enlumineur Hüseyin ont travaillé continûment. Le calligraphe Mehmed Şevki a probablement changé son fournisseur de papier durant l’écriture du Coran ce qui expliquerait les différences de qualité de papier.

Il est probable que tous les folios aient eu la même couleur lorsque le manuscript fut écrit et que les folios dégradés mentionnés ci-dessus soient devenus beaucoup plus foncés sous l’effet de la dégradation initiée par le fer.

Keywords: Islamic manuscript; deteriorated paper; iron ions oxidation; Raman pigment characterization; SEM-EDS and FTIR study

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About the article

Nurçin Kural Özgörüş

Nurçin Kural Özgörüş currently works as paper and book conservator at Sabancı University Sakıp Sabancı Museum, and as a lecturer in preventive conservation at the Turkish Traditional Arts Bookbinding Department, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the Istanbul Technical University, she studied paper conservation in Palazzo Spinelli, Istituto per L’arte e Il Restauro in Florence, Italy. She is currently working on her thesis in MA program at the Turkish Traditional Arts Bookbinding Department Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University. Her main interest is the conservation and research of Ottoman manuscripts and documents in the Arts of Book and Calligraphy collection of Sakıp Sabancı Museum. E-mail: nurcin@sabanciuniv.edu

Cüneyt H. Ünlü

Cüneyt H. Ünlü is a researcher at Istanbul Technical University Chemistry Department. He received his PhD degree at the Istanbul Technical University in 2010, on the subject of polymer/clay nanocomposite synthesis using polysaccharides. His research area covers recovery, characterization, and modification of polysaccharides, polymer/clay nanocomposites, and surface active materials. He also gives lectures on General Chemistry, Introduction to Scientific Computing, and Characterization of Organic Compounds. E-mail: unlucu@gmail.com

Orhideja Grupče

Orhideja Grupče is Professor of Analytical and Instrumental Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry at the Faculty of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, University “St Cyril & Methodius”, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. Her research and expertise is in the field of Molecular Spectroscopy as application of IR spectroscopy of solids: polymorphs of thioimides, IR and Raman spectra-structure correlation as well as structure determination of saccharine salts and complexes by X-ray diffraction. Special interest in application of IR and Raman spectroscopy in characterization of cultural heritage objects - manuscripts, icons, pottery. E-mail: orceg@yahoo.com

Feray Bakan

Feray Bakan received her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering from Ataturk University, Turkey in 2011, followed by working in the Physics Department, Sabancı University as a post-doctoral fellow. She is currently employed as a researcher at Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center (SUNUM). Her academic studies mainly include bioceramic nanomaterials’ synthesis and their broad range health-related applications, from bone fracture healing to drug delivery. E-mail: feraybakan@sabanciuniv.edu

Meltem Sezen

Meltem Sezen completed her PhD degree at Graz University of Technology, Institute for Electron Microscopy, in Austria in 2009. In the following two years, she completed her postdoctoral research at Center of Electron Microscopy (Felmi-Zfe) in Graz, Austria. She is currently employed as an Assistant Professor at Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center (SUNUM). Her main academic research areas include nanostructuring and nanofabrication using focused ion and electron beams, advanced electron microscopy techniques, surface modification at nanometer scale and organic/ceramic materials processing. E-mail: meltemsezen@sabanciuniv.edu


Received: 2017-02-01

Accepted: 2017-08-02

Revised: 2017-07-21

Published Online: 2017-10-10

Published in Print: 2017-12-20


Citation Information: Restaurator. International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, Volume 38, Issue 4, Pages 331–354, ISSN (Online) 1865-8431, ISSN (Print) 0034-5806, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/res-2017-0002.

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