Kinkarakawa-gami wallpapers are unique works of art produced in Japan between 1870 and 1905 and exported in European countries, although only few examples are nowadays present in Europe. So far, neither the wallpapers nor the composing materials have been characterised, limiting the effective conservation–restoration of these artefacts accounting also for the potential deteriogen effects of microorganisms populating them. In the present study, four Kinkarakawa-gami wallpapers were analysed combining physical–chemical and microbiological approaches to obtain information regarding the artefacts’ manufacture, composition, dating, and their microbial community. The validity of these methodologies was verified through a fine in blind statistical analysis, which allowed to identify trends and similarities within these important artefacts. The evidence gathered indicated that these wallpapers were generated between 1885 and 1889, during the so-called industrial production period. A wide range of organic (proteinaceous binders, natural waxes, pigments, and vegetable lacquers) and inorganic (tin foil and pigments) substances were used for the artefacts’ manufacture, contributing to their overall complexity, which also reflects on the identification of a heterogeneous microbiota, often found in Eastern environmental matrices. Nevertheless, whether microorganisms inhabiting these wallpapers determined a detrimental or protective effect is not fully elucidated yet, thus constituting an aspect worth to be explored to deepen the knowledge needed for the conservation of Kinkarakawa-gami over time.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|