Event: VIRTUAL PIZZA TALK: An Authenticity Study of an Egyptian Bronze Cat: Modern to Ancient

Date & Time

November 18, 2020 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
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Contact Information

Sumiji Takahashi



Event Type

Pizza Talk

Event Details

Almoatz-bellah Elshahawi, Conservator, Grand Egyptian Museum
Wednesday, November 18th, 12:00pm - 1:00pm PT

Acquired in 1955 by the J. Paul Getty Museum an Egyptian bronze cat was thought to be a fake. Authenticity questions initially arose from the presence of several odd repairs on the cat’s tail. Additionally, the surface appeared stripped and was very glossy giving it an artificial look and contributing to its suspicious appearance. Removal of the bronze from its historic wooden base revealed the signature of a 19th century British restorer. Comparisons of the interior to the exterior bronze surface indicate that the cat had been aggressively cleaned leaving a smooth and atypical corrosion pattern on the surface. A technical study of the cat using visible and microscopic examination, x radiography, metallography, x ray fluorescence spectroscopy and most significantly, thermoluminescence dating of the core material within the head, confirmed the cat’s authenticity.

Register for this Cotsen Virtual Pizza Talk here! You will receive instructions on viewing the talk after registering.