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Common name for Magnesium oxide (periclase) in the 19th century (Schur 1985). Magnesia, however, has also been called magnesian earth as well as loosely used as a synonym for magnesite (Magnesium carbonate). Fine-grain, freshly calcined magnesia has been used as an abrasive, but coarse magnesium carbonate particles that readily form in the presence of air and moisture can cause scratching.

Synonyms and Related Terms

magnesium oxide; periclase; magnesian earth (used before 1800)

Resources and Citations

  • Susan E. Schur, Conservation Terminology: A review of Past & Current Nomenclature of Materials, Technology and Conservation, Spring (p.34-39); Summer (p.35-38); Fall (p.25-36), 1985
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • R.M.Organ, Design for Scientific Conservation of Antiquities, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 1968

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