Study on the Damage Mechanism by Salt of White Porcelain Figurine in Underglaze Iron

백자 철화 인물형 명기의 염 손상 메커니즘 연구

  • Lee, Sun Myung (Restoration Technology Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Jin, Hong Ju (Conservation Science Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Yun, Ji Hyeon (Conservation Science Division, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage) ;
  • Kwon, Oh Young (Cultural Heritage Conservation Science Center, National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage)
  • 이선명 (국립문화재연구소 복원기술연구실) ;
  • 진홍주 (국립문화재연구소 보존과학연구실) ;
  • 윤지현 (국립문화재연구소 보존과학연구실) ;
  • 권오영 (국립문화재연구소 문화재보존과학센터)
  • Received : 2020.09.09
  • Accepted : 2020.09.28
  • Published : 2020.10.20


It was confirmed that a white porcelain figurine in underglaze iron was damaged after exhibition. This study analyzes the current state of salt damage on the artifact and identifies the factors contributing to its deterioration by examining the material characteristics of the artifact and exhibition environment. The analysis will thus assist in preparing a conservation scheme for artifacts. The crystallized carbonate on the surface of the white porcelain figurine is a water-soluble alkali salt with high hygroscopicity and high solubility in water. This solubility increases as the temperature increases. The figurine was low-fired at approximately 1000℃. A lead glaze was applied, and thin cracks were formed on the glazed surface, indicating poor surface properties. Our analysis suggested that the showcase used in the exhibition likely created a moist environment resulting from condensation, as it was exposed to high temperature and relative humidity, particularly in comparison to the exhibition room where the temperature was regulated using an air conditioner. In addition, the artifacts in the showcase were exposed to sudden changes in temperature and relative humidity as the air conditioner was repeatedly turned on and off. Therefore, it can be deduced that the soluble salt remaining on the white porcelain figurine moved toward the surface of the relatively weak glaze as a result of the temperature, and the crystallized salt exacerbated surface damage as the moisture evaporated in a dry environment.

백자 철화 인물형 명기는 전시 후 철수하는 과정에서 염 손상이 확인되었다. 이 연구에서는 유물의 보존방안을 마련하기 위해 염 손상 상태를 분석하고 재질 특성과 전시환경을 검토하여 손상 메커니즘을 파악하였다. 명기 표면에 결정화된 탄산염(Na2CO3)은 수용성 알칼리염으로 흡습성이 높고 물에 잘 용해되며 온도가 상승할수록 용해도가 증가한다. 재질 분석 결과, 명기는 1000℃ 부근에서 소성된 저화도 백자로 연유(鉛釉)가 시유되었고 유약 면에는 빙렬이 있어 표면 물성이 취약한 상태였다. 전시환경 분석 결과, 공조기 가동에 따라 환경제어가 되는 전시실에 비해 진열장 내부는 온·습도가 높은 환경에 노출되면서 결로 등 수분환경 조성이 예측되었다. 또한 공조기 가동과 중단에 따른 급격한 온·습도 변화에 노출된 것을 확인하였다. 이를 통해 명기 내 잔류한 수용성 염이 온도 변화에 따라 상대적으로 취약한 부위인 유약층 표면 쪽으로 이동하고, 건조환경에서 수분이 증발함에 따라 염의 결정화 압력 작용하여 표면 손상이 가중된 것으로 판단된다.



이 연구는 국립문화재연구소 문화유산조사연구(R&D) 사업의 일환으로 수행되었으며 이에 감사한다.


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