Wild Court Rookery, City of London. Scientific Examination of Early 19th-Century Crucibles

Author(s): David Dungworth

Four crucibles from an early 19th-century cess pit were examined using a scanning electron microscope. One has an interior vitrified surface which contains significant amounts of sodium, chlorine and silver. This suite of elements suggests that the crucible had been used to separate silver from a gold alloy using salt parting. The presence of base metal and silver sulphide droplets in this crucible may be due to the refining of gold using sulphur parting. Salt parting and sulphur parting in early 19th-century London would be unusual as both of these technologies had been superseded by the use of strong acids at least 50 years before. The remaining three crucibles had all been used to melt alloys containing gold.

Report Number:
Research Department Reports
Gold Metal Working-non Fe Post Medieval Silver Technology


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