Zapon lacquer

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[Celluloid Zapon Co, Springfield NJ] Originally a name for a Cellulose nitrate varnish (patented 1887) in a solvent mixture containing Amyl acetate, Butyl acetate and propyl acetate. Zapon lacquer dried to a very thin transparent film that was originally sold as a varnish for polished metals parts. Rathgen (1905) listed procedures for Zapon's use on artwork as a metal coating and stone consolidant, By 1907, an artist newsletter recommended it as a Fixative for watercolors (Ellis 1996). Zapon-Lack was also used for a short time from in the early 20th century as an isolating varnish for paintings, however it was found to turn yellow with age (Doerner 1934). Another unsuccessful use of Zapon, was as a Consolidant for manuscripts degraded by iron gall inks (Reissland 2000). The name, Zapon-Lack, is currently a German tradename for a mixture of cellulose nitrate in amyl acetate, ethanol, and ethylacetate.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Zapon-lack; Zaponlack; Zapon lacquer; zapons; cellulose nitrate

Additional Information

° F. Rathgen, The Preservation of Antiquities, The University Press, Cambridge, 1905, pp. 168-170 (translated into English). link ° E.Worden, Nitrocellulose Industry, D. Van Nostrand, NY, 1911, pp. 301-302. link ° B.Reissland, "Historically used Conservation Methods" in Conservation of Objects Damaged by Iron Gall Ink,, 2/17/00. ° Ellis, M.H. "The Shifting Function of Artists' Fixatives", JAIC, 35:239-54, 1996. link on CoOL

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 436
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • E.J.LaBarre, Dictionary and Encyclopedia of Paper and Paper-making, Swets & Zeitlinger, Amsterdam, 1969
  • Website address 1 Comment: