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Old July 23rd, 2007, 03:10 AM   #11
Mr. Poster
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Hi ho SirBOb and Dr Mank!

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Fe2+ to Fe3+ may occur but it is still iron and it is the compound it forms with oxygen that has changed
This I could argue with at length (it is still iron but if a metal is defined on some level by the reactions it undergoes with other species, then Fe2+ is a different kettle of fish to Fe3+ in the same way that U6+ is very different to U4+).

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There are also different isotopes of many metals, for example Lithium-6 and Lithium-7, but both are called lithium (and it is not practicably possible to change one to the other)
That is true but you are forgetting or at least not mentioning that different isotopes undergo the exact same reactions so the chemistry of two isotopes is identical. The chemistry of two valency states of one element are fundamentally not the same.

PLus, the nomencalture of elements with common isotopes does vary. Deuterium and Tritium are both actually hydrogen (IUPAC notwithstanding). Radon and thoron are both actually radon. If there were common isotopes of many metals in nature, I am sure they two would have different colloquial names.

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My point was for the lay reader if you mention that the 'metal has changed' it could conjure up images of alchemy.
That isnt my fault........the metal DOES change, it goes from 2+ to 3+ and in the course of that change, its reactions, both with other species and as a catalyst, also change which is of consequence to what happens to it on paper.

The metal changes. Its not my fault! If it didnt iron wouldnt be used in ink.

What the public understand by that is not up to me. A metal going from one valency to another undergoes a change.

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but I think it would take a lot of complex investigations, more than was done on the paper and ink, to determine the oxidative states that the metals are in.
It would but they arent so complex. Plus they are non-destructive. Plus I sent SirBob a fair amount of information on the role of valency changes in ink/paper interactions, how to get it measured (XANES), where to get it done and why its useful.

I admit, its a bit more advanced than what has been done so far, but right now, its pretty much the de facto standard for analysing ink/paper interactions.

AS to Battlecrease......I have no idea.

p
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:47 AM   #12
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Hi ho Mr P,

I was merely asking for your opinion previously, as someone who knows a lot more than I do on this subject. I wasn’t implying anything by my question concerning the expertise of previous analysts. I just wanted to know what you thought, in light of your comments about the properties of inks in pre-Victorian times.

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Originally Posted by Mr. Poster View Post

Now I know Caz is going to start on about "Oh we need a definitive test" but for a thousand reasons ranging from professional responsibilities of the analyst all the way down to Heisenberg uncertainties, that is never going to happen.

P
That’s a little unfair, Mr P. I understand perfectly well that the only scientist one should trust is one who would never offer a definitive conclusion. I have said so myself on enough occasions in the past. So it would be ridiculous and totally illogical for me to say we needed a definitive test. What I do think is reasonable to expect is that future testing should add something useful to the information we are gradually accumulating, whether it's a new indication, or only tends to confirm or cast doubt on a previous indication.

I had a long conversation yesterday (on Hungerford Bridge actually - we’d just had lunch out in Soho) with my brother, who is a doctor of physics, and he said much the same as you and Dr Mank have been saying in the posts I have just caught up with here, regarding how scientific conclusions should be delivered and how they should be used - and shouldn't be used - by laymen like myself.

Love,

Caz
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 08:55 AM   #13
Robert Linford
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Could someone enlighten me on the ink issue? Suppose they had a business letter written by Maybrick - or a poem written by Tennyson - or a shopping list written by Queen Victoria ("don't forget the oven chips") : is it the case that scientists who tested the inks in such documents would likewise have a problem determining age of ink? (only going on the ink here - no mention of handwriting or provenance)

Robert
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Old July 24th, 2007, 01:50 PM   #14
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Hi Robert,

I'm hoping Mr Poster will come to the rescue on this one. My brother said something about needing to compare a document of unknown age (or an alleged age, as is the case with the diary), with as many documents as possible of known ages, and seeing where there are more points of similarity than dissimilarity, or more consistencies than inconsistencies. He described it as building up a gradual picture which may give you a reasonable indication of date, but never getting carried away and reaching conclusions that could be premature.

He said that if you have a theory before you start, your aim should always be to prove yourself wrong, and not t'other way round.

Love,

Caz
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Old July 27th, 2007, 03:13 PM   #15
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Hei ho Caz

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My brother said something about needing to compare a document of unknown age (or an alleged age, as is the case with the diary), with as many documents as possible of known ages, and seeing where there are more points of similarity than dissimilarity, or more consistencies than inconsistencies. He described it as building up a gradual picture which may give you a reasonable indication of date, but never getting carried away and reaching conclusions that could be premature.
Tis true but the underlined word(s) above is perhaps badly chosen.

Now I know whats going to come next is a tilt at "Oh but we cannot do that for X, Y and Z" but that can be addressed in a couple of points.

1. Its desireable and why I proposed months ago on the Casebook the establishment of an archive of samples of paper and ink from the LVP to serve as a comparative database should a problem re:authentication ever arise.

2. It helps not a whit because the chances of assembling a database or a set of comparative samples that would cover every paper and ink combo is nigh on impossible but luckily for us..........

3. Its not really necessary because by bringing it to experts who have studied many if not thousands of different documents and whose knowledge can be applied to the problem will allow for a reasonable assessment of any diary analytical result in the context of the results that have already been obtained by that expert on a wide range of documents.

A flu is diagnosed by comparing the symptoms of the patient with the symptoms of patients known to have the flu.

That group do not have to be present in the doctors office as after time and seeing hundreds of flu cases, the doctor can identify flu with enough certainty not to need the presence of his comparative grouping.

In the same way, an experienced expert will not need to assemble a large database of genuinely old documents as he will have worked long enough with such matters to be able to decide whether he thinks the diary provides analytical results that are like all the old documents he has seen or all the artificially aged ones.


A gradual picture is indeed the way to go.

But there aint no need to faff about for another ten years.

Send it to the appropriate institute where all the experts are and they can build up the "gradual" (or I would use the word "holistic" as it removes the impression of having to wait years) picture and having that information to hand, conclude what they may.

The words "gradual" and "premature" are symptomatic of the situation whereby imaginary obstacles of technical nature are presented ....such as money/expense which we found to be false and the availability of better technology which also was found to be false (even at the end of the 1990's).

Now we cannot use scientific method as an obstacle and say that such a method will necessitate the works of eons. The method can easily be accorded to in weeks for example, if enough experts or an expert with enough expertise could get a look at it.

No need for years at all.....

p
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Old July 31st, 2007, 06:21 AM   #16
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Hi Mr P,

Thanks for this.

My brother wasn't suggesting 'years' either, and I was putting his general thoughts into my words - and not very well, I don't expect. I don't think he was talking in terms of time at all, but in terms of taking adequate care and being extremely cautious about turning a result into a conclusion.

I do wonder how many documents, which have been artificially aged to mimic genuine Victorian ones, are available for comparison purposes. Are there experts who specialise in such things? I imagine it would take many years to build up a catalogue of documents which have been handwritten, artificially aged and then left for x weeks, y months or z years before being tested.

Dr Eastaugh and Leeds did compare the diary ink with that of modern and Victorian documents and clear differences with the former were observed, and no inconsistencies with the latter. But that doesn't address the possibility that a hoaxer did a reasonable job of making a new diary appear old.

Love,

Caz
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Old July 31st, 2007, 08:07 AM   #17
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Hi ho Caz

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I do wonder how many documents, which have been artificially aged to mimic genuine Victorian ones, are available for comparison purposes. Are there experts who specialise in such things? I imagine it would take many years to build up a catalogue of documents which have been handwritten, artificially aged and then left for x weeks, y months or z years before being tested.
I would imagine, but could be wrong, that there are quite a few indeed.

Judging by the amount of literature available on the matter, plus the number of countries who do such work, plus the large number of individual workers dealing with such things, plus the large number of documents dealt with by such bodies plus the fact that generation of conservation methods that are tested by artificial aging.......there must be a fairly significant amount of both genuine and artificially aged material available.

I agree it would take a large number of years to build up such a catalogue but given that most of these institutes are involved in assembling and maintaining entire nations catalogues of old manuscripts and have been in existence for many decades it would seem reasonable to assume that such collections and databases have been built up.

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But that doesn't address the possibility that a hoaxer did a reasonable job of making a new diary appear old.
True but somehow I dont imagine Dr Eastaughs skill base (And no offence to him) would have stretched to being able to differentiate between a clever artificially aged document and a genuine one. But maybe some institutes can especially when they have access to technology that Eastaugh didnt and their sole purpose of existence in a professional sense is the analysis of both genuine and faked old documents.

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Old July 31st, 2007, 12:18 PM   #18
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being able to differentiate between a clever artificially aged document and a genuine one.
Howdy from Bahau, Negri Sembilan Malaysia. We're off tomorrow for Cambodia.

Of course, Lars, it cannot be a cleverly faked document because we have been told repeatedly - and I really do mean REPEATEDLY - by Caz's fan boys that it's a cheap shoddy hoax.

Mr. Barrett could have made some coin for himself at one point just by explaining how he "done it" .

I agree with you wholeheartedly that there do seem to be some avenues of analysis that might tell us if pen hit paper recently or not.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 04:22 AM   #19
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Mr. Barrett could have made some coin for himself at one point just by explaining how he "done it" .
Still could make a packet - if he can explain how his forger pal(s) dunnit and make it believable.

(I think I lost the plot with the last three words there. )

Take care on your travels Sir Robert.

Love,

Caz
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Old August 5th, 2007, 12:39 PM   #20
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Take care on your travels Sir Robert.

Love,

Caz
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When we get back I'll start a thread for my daughter's photos.....but in the meantime here's one (not her's BTW) of Angkor Wat. Scary thing is it doesn't do it justice.
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