Academic thesis

Erikka Louise Wessel: A central European gentleman’s jacket of the first half of 17th century. Documentation and conservation. Including a study of difficulty concerning black dyed silk. Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: The subject of this diploma dissertation is a gentleman’s jacket made of black silk, believed to originate from the north-western part of Germany or the Netherlands, and is dated to the first half of 17th century.
A brief description of the object and its history is followed by a documentation of the fibres, the textile techniques, the pattern, the construction and the condition of the object. Analyses of the dyestuff and pH-value is presented.
Historic sources and modern literature confirm that components used to dye silk black often are iron(II)-sulphate and tannins. These components cause black silk to degrade quicker than other materials and colours. Sulphate and tannins reduce the pH-value of the object and iron catalyses the oxidation process. Similar degradation problems and possible treatment methods occur in other fields of conservation.
A chemical treatment of the black silk was not considered advisable.
The object was secured by sewing and crepeline conservation, and supported by building a figurine which can be used in exhibitions and for storage.


  • academic institution: Abegg-Stiftung
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Dr. des. Regula Schorta
  • assistant Tutor:  Barbara Raster
  • date:  2001
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  146
  • pictures:  44
Anfragen / inquiries:
Werner Abegg-Strasse 67
CH-3132 Riggisberg, Schweiz
Tel.: 0041 (0)31 808 12 01
Fax: 0041 (0)31 808 12 00

The Hornemann Institute offers only the information displayed here. For further information or copies of academic work, please contact the author or - if there is no contact provided - the secretariats of the respective faculties.