Car examined under microscope

UCL department: 
Art History

Libby Sheldon from the Department of Art History took the car to her department to examine it under a powerful microscope. She has taken many photographs of it (to follow) which depict teeth marks on the stump of the steering wheel, details of paint and all the fluff which has accumulated on the back seat over the years.

She has also taken a flake of red paint which she will be subjecting to a layer analysis under the microscope.

Looking at paint samples under a microscope can reveal hidden information about how the paint used to appear. Libby showed me an example of a tiny flake of paint taken from a portrait of Elizabeth the 1st at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Making Art in Tudor Britain project. Elizabeth appears to be wearing a dress with dull yellow embroidery. The microscope reveals traces of blue and red pigment in the paint which have deteriorated over time suggesting that the embroidery on Elizabeth's dress was originally purple.