Top Area, white base paint with colorful decorations (image above):
- Lead (Pb): 192,500 +/- 12,000 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 7,824 +/- 870 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 3,117 +/- 265 ppm
- Vanadium (V): 5,081 +/- 494 ppm
- Titanium (Ti): 12,300 +/- 1,100 ppm
Continue reading below image.
Bottom Area, black paint (image above):
- Lead (Pb): 74 +/- 9 ppm
- Barium (Ba): 717 +/- 133 ppm
- Zinc (Zn): 293 +/- 19 ppm
- Copper (Cu): 825 +/- 32 ppm
- Nickel (Ni): 24 +/- 11 ppm
- Iron (Fe): 1,436 +/- 65 ppm
*All readings are done using a Niton XL3T XRF instrument, in “Consumer Goods” mode, with tests done for a minimum of 60 seconds each. Test results are accurate, science-based and replicable.
I remember having so many boxes like this when I was younger! I had a huge collection of little trinket boxes from all over the world — and I am certain I had one just like this. This one belonged to my friend M.J., and she gave it to me for my “Museum of Lead” collection!
I thought this piece was particularly emblematic, and may be interesting to my readers – as the base cream color of the paint of this box is the exact color I so often see on houses, and can easily identify as aging / yellowing / base (without colorants added) Lead-white paint.
By now, when I see this exact color (on a home, work of art or vintage object), I am always fairly certain the paint is Leaded even before I get a chance to test it; after years of testing, if I see this color as the apparent bottom layer under many layers of paint of other colors, I have a pretty strong hunch that this is the original base color — and is the highest-Lead of all of the colors that may be on the house.
The reading for the white paint on this box was more than 19% Lead, but that also includes the substrate (the base material of the box – possibly wood or paper mâché), likely “diluting” the reading. I wouldn’t be surprised – if one were able to test just the paint on this box separately (without the box underneath) – if it would likely be in the range of 50% to 90% Lead.
It’s also interesting to note the different metals compositions between the white and the black paint — they are such very distinct profiles. I would love to work with archeological teams doing forensic work on ancient works of art using XRF technology… I think that would be my dream job!.
As always, thank you for reading and for sharing my posts.
Please let me know if you have any questions.