Pigments, corrosion products, and minerals are usually considered separately, either as painting materials or as the deterioration products of metals, even though they are often the same compounds. This 190-year review of the literature on copper and its alloys integrates that information across a broad spectrum of interests that are all too frequently compartmentalized. The author discusses the various environmental conditions to which copper alloy objects may be exposed—including burial, outdoor, and indoor museum environments—and the methods used to conserve them. The book also includes information on ancient and historical technologies, the nature of patina as it pertains to copper and bronze, and the use of copper corrosion materials as pigments.
Chapters are organized primarily by chemical corrosion products and include topics such as early technologies, copper chlorides and bronze disease, the chemistry and history of turquoise, Egyptian blue and other synthetic copper silicates, the organic salts of copper in bronze corrosion, and bronze patinas. A detailed survey of conservation treatments for bronze objects is also provided. Four appendixes cover copper and bronze chemistry, replication experiments for early pigment recipes, a list of copper minerals and corrosion products, and X-ray diffraction studies.