CT Scans in Art Work Appraisal
A. Pre-Columbian jaguar vase, Peru. Polychrome terracotta, 18 cm. Distinguishing feature: the eyes and teeth are made of lapis lazuli.
B. CT: opaque 3D view of the inner right side of the vase which shows a network of glue joints holding together more than a hundred fragments of terracotta.
C. CT: opaque 3D lateral view. The terracotta has been rendered translucent to reveal, in black against a grey ground, the use of high-density resin to fill the joints on the outer surface of the restored vase. This means that the polychrome coating, except for the ears, has been applied recently.
D. CT: thin lateral section showing the low-density glue between the breaks (red arrows) and the high-density resin on the outer surface (green arrowheads).
E. CT: thin lateral sections, centered on the head (box in figure D), showing clearly that the sculptor had not fashioned sockets into which the four lapis lazuli teeth could be slotted after firing. On the contrary, holes were later drilled in the mouth to receive the teeth, held in place by low-density glue and high-density resin. Although the vase has been heavily restored, this trick has given it a more attractive appearance.