Cross section showing the upper layers of a sample from the Mazarin Chest decorated with sprinkled gold (maki-e) - マザラン・チェスト下地上層と蒔絵部分の断面試料

Cross section showing the upper layers of a sample from the Mazarin Chest decorated with sprinkled gold (maki-e) - マザラン・チェスト下地上層と蒔絵部分の断面試料

This cross section shows the upper layers of a sample taken from the Mazarin Chest, viewed under a microscope using visible light. Layers of carbon can be seen above and below the fine-grained uppermost foundation (shitaji) layer. Possibly uniquely among lacquer objects that have been analysed to date, a layer of carbon is also present between the two layers of lacquer (urushi) that were then applied. This and the carbon layer below the first coating of lacquer are what make the ground of the chest look black. Once the black lacquer ground had been prepared, it was ready to be decorated, in this case by sprinkling powdered gold on to a wet layer of lacquer pigmented red by being mixed with cinnabar (mercury (II) sulfide, HgS).

これはマザラン・チェストから採取した上層部を電子顕微鏡観察した可視光線による断面写真です。細かい下地最上層の上下に炭素の層が見られます。その後に塗られた二層の漆層の間にも炭素の層が見られますが、これは現在までに分析された漆器の中でもおそらく異例のことといえます。チェストが黒く見えるのは、この炭素層と、上塗り層の一層目の下の炭素層のためです。黒い漆地の準備が整うと、いよいよ加飾段階に入ります。ここでは辰砂(水銀と二酸化硫黄、HgS)を混ぜた朱漆を下付けし、それが乾かないうちに金粉を蒔いていきます。