The importance of being versatile: Infn-chnet ma-xrf scanner on furniture at the ccr “la venaria reale”

Leandro Sottili, Laura Guidorzi, Anna Mazzinghi, Chiara Ruberto, Lisa Castelli, Caroline Czelusniak, Lorenzo Giuntini, Mirko Massi, Francesco Taccetti, Marco Nervo, Stefania De Blasi, Rodrigo Torres, Francesco Arneodo, Alessandro Re, Alessandro Lo Giudice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


At present, the use of non-destructive, non-invasive X-ray-based techniques is well established in heritage science for the analysis and conservation of works of art. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) plays a fundamental role since it provides information on the elemental composition, contributing to the identification of the materials present on the superficial layers of an artwork. Whenever XRF is combined with the capability of scanning an area to provide the elemental distribution on a surface, the technique is referred to as macro X-ray fluorescence (MA-XRF). The heritage science field, in which the technique is extensively applied, presents a large variety of case studies. Typical examples are paintings, ceramics, metallic objects and manuscripts. This work presents an uncommon application of MA-XRF analysis to furniture. Measurements have been carried out with the MA-XRF scanner of the INFN-CHNet collaboration at the Centro di Conservazione e Restauro “La Venaria Reale”, a leading conservation centre in the field. In particular, a chinoiserie lacquered cabinet of the 18th century and a desk by Pietro Piffetti (1701–1777) have been analysed with a focus on the characterisation of decorative layers and different materials (e.g., gilding in the former and ivory in the latter). The measurements have been carried out using a telemeter for non-planar surfaces, and with collimators of 0.8 mm and 0.4 mm diameter, depending on the spatial resolution needed. The combination of the small measuring head with the use of the telemeter and of a small collimator has guaranteed the ability to scan difficult-to-reach areas with high spatial resolution in a reasonable time (20 × 10 mm2 with 0.2 mm step in less than 20 min).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1197
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021


  • Chinoiserie lacquered cabinet
  • Conservation studies
  • Furniture
  • MA-XRF
  • Pietro Piffetti

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'The importance of being versatile: Infn-chnet ma-xrf scanner on furniture at the ccr “la venaria reale”'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this