Tin: Ukiyo-e colorant

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Ômori by Totoya Hokkei

Tin 錫 (suzu): Flakes or powdered metallics are often found in deluxe editions and privately comissioned surimono (摺物) prints. Tin was commonly used for metallic silver colored areas on a print. Animal glue (膠 nikawa) was commonly used to adhere the flakes to the paper's surface or as a binder when printed. Often times, a field of tin appears to be printed over a blue colorant. The use of affordable metals such as brass and tin were likely meant to imitate the glittering effects created by the use of expensive metal leaf or flakes such as gold and silver on screen and scroll paintings. But unlike brass, it appears tin was not used in early prints.

For more information see: Tin


Examples of Tin in Ukiyo-e Prints

11.20034-pt1-detail.png

11.20034-Pt1-XRF.jpg
Pt 1: printed
Ryūryūkyo Shinsai, 11.20034

11.20413-pt2-detail.png

11.20413-Pt2-XRF.jpg
Pt 2: printed
Katsushika Hokusai, 11.20413

11.25669-pt10-detail.png

1125669-Pt10-XRF.jpg
Pt 10: hand applied
Keisai Eisen, 11.25669

11.19845-pt4-detail.png

1119845-Pt4-XRF.jpg
Pt 4: printed
Totoya Hokkei, 11.19845

11.20418-pt1-detail.png

1120418-Pt1-XRF.jpg
Pt 1: printed
Katsushika Hokusai, 11.20418

21.9245-pt7-detail.png

219245-Pt7-XRF.jpg
Pt 7: printed
Katsushika Hokusai, 21.9245

Analysis

X-ray fluorescence analysis (XRF) is used to detect tin (Sn).

Images of Tin

List of Prints

Below is a list of prints where tin was detected.