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There is shellac trapped in the wood in this cross-section, followed by a thin, uneven, red-pigmented stain layer. There is grime, wax and oil on the surface.


Sample 7- Right bearer/cleat. Visible Light, 200X.


Ultraviolet Light, 200X. 


Ultraviolet Light, 400X. Shellac and pigments in the wood. Grime, oil and wax on the surface. 



The comparative finish histories suggest that the tea table was originally coated with shellac, which now survives only in fragmentary form in the areas of the tea table sampled for analysis. This first shellac layer is too uneven and fragmentary to identify any characteristic aging evidence like regular cracks or a paler autofluorescence at the oxidized surface. The evidence also suggests that the secondary elements were first sealed with shellac and then coated with a red-pigmented stain to match the paler secondary wood with the deeper color of the mahogany.
The tea table was consistently recoated with two separate applications of pigmented plant resin varnish, followed by the most recent plant resin varnish. The pigmented coatings,
and a film of grime and oil, contribute to the darkened quality of the interstices of the carving and the joinery.