Characterisation of gold gilt silver wires from five embroidered silk Qaaba curtains dated between the 16th and 19th centuries

Cakir A., Simsek G., Tezcan H.

APPLIED PHYSICS A-MATERIALS SCIENCE & PROCESSING, vol.83, no.4, pp.503-511, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


The wires from five Qaaba curtains, dated between the 16th and 19th centuries, presently exhibited at the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul, and embroidered with gold gilded silver and silver wires, were characterized physically and chemically. The curtains are part of the Kiswa, the cover of the Qaaba, the holy place of pilgrimage in Mecca for Muslims. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) (including field emission sem) studies were carried out using energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) as well as atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) for chemical analysis. The chemical and physical composition of the wires and their coatings, and the analysis of corrosion products were made, and the present state of the wires were evaluated and compared.