Posted by Steve Price on June 20, 1999 at 15:13:45:
In Reply to: Dating by eyeballing a dye posted by Marvin Amstey on June 20, 1999 at 13:46:38:
You are absolutely correct in noting that eyeball color analysis is highly fallible. Actually, it is less likely to be in error when identifying a clearly synthetic dye than when identifying what appears to be a natural one. The reason is simple. Even though many "garish synthetic" colors are obtainable from natural dyes, there is no indication that the people who used such dyes made those colors with them.
At the same time, it ought to be noted that every estimation of date of weaving of a rug is really an educated guess, and when someone says a given piece is, for instance, mid-19th century he is using a shorthand way of saying that the piece has more of the characteristics we might expect of something made at that time than of things made at any other. At least, that's what anyone who knows what he's talking about means.
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