Netherlands Institute for Conservation, Art and Science

NICAS Colloquium

06Dec2018 12:00 - 13:00


The next edition of the NICAS Colloquium takes place on Thursday, 22 November 2018, from 12:00 to 13:00 in the RCE Course Room (floor -1) of the Atelier Building (Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam).

This will be the last NICAS Colloquium of 2018. We will start again in the new year on 17 January.



The chair of this colloquium will be Joose van Bennekom (Rijksmuseum).


The following presentations are scheduled for this edition of the NICAS Colloquium:


Tracing the provenance of tin-glazed ceramics in the Netherlands

Luc Meegens

In the early seventeenth century the technique of faience making was imported into the Northern Netherlands. Before, but also after potteries in the Northern provinces adopted the faience technique, this type of tin-glazed ceramic was imported from Italy, the Iberian peninsula and France. Determination of the place of production of especially white ware based on morphological and stylistic properties can by challenging. We studied a large number of faience objects from various Dutch excavations in comparison with production waste from production sites in Europe with various techniques to relate the place of production to the chemical characteristics of the object. Non-invasive semi-quantitative X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) of the glaze in most cases clearly showed differences between Dutch, French, Italian and Portuguese products. These results of glaze analysis with XRF were confirmed by SEM-EDX and XRF analysis of glaze and body and ICP-MS analysis of the body.

Luc Megens is working as a heritage scientist at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, specialized in ceramics, glass and painted surfaces.


Exploring the use of microbes to clean silver

Giel Scheepers

Tarnish on silver objects can sometimes be hard to remove, as all current cleaning methods have their disadvantages. The aim of this research internship at the Rijksmuseum was to develop a new bio-based method to clean silver. The bacterium Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans was selected as the most promising candidate, because of its ability to oxidize many kinds of metal sulfides and its high resistance to metals. This bacterium was isolated from a silver mine and cultured in the lab. Its resistance to silver was determined. It was investigated whether the bacterium could oxidize silver sulfide from tarnished silver coupons, either through a direct method or an indirect method. In the direct method the bacteria enzymatically oxidize metals sulfides. In the indirect method the bacteria oxidize ferrous iron, the ferric iron can then oxidize metal sulfides.

Giel Scheepers obtained his bachelor’s in Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Groningen. Currently he is a Bio Inspired Innovation master student at Utrecht University.


Thursday, 6 December 2018


12:00 – 13:00 hrs


RCE Course Room (floor -1), Atelier Building
Hobbemastraat 22, Amsterdam

Published by  NICAS