Collectables and Items of Historical Interest
While stylistic interpretation and established provenance are commonly used to lend credence to the authenticity of items of historical significance, scientific analysis offers an orthogonal approach with the potential to provide unequivocal factual information that can, in many instances, provide clarification to controversial or disputed works. Microtrace scientists have developed skills in working with delicate materials, identifying them, and interpreting the significance of the results in light of the circumstances.
Microtrace scientists are able to collect and analyze samples of a size that are generally undetectable by the naked eye. In many cases, these samples remain intact following analysis and can be returned to the owner should future analyses be required.
Items ranging from holocaust era lampshades alleged to be made of human skin, to Hitler’s personal effects, to a baseball signed by most of the infamous 1919 Blacksox, to a letter signed by Lincoln in the hours before he signed the Emancipation Proclamation have been submitted to Microtrace scientists to provide insight into their authenticity. These analyses have focused on the examination of minute amounts of ink, fiber, paper, tissue, and other components to determine if a material is consistent with its age.
A range of objects including baseball bats, jerseys, and balls from various sports have been studied. While these analyses have often involved the analysis of ink on signatures, we have also examined the objects themselves for evidence of age and construction materials. Examples of objects that have been studied include objects signed by Lou Gerhig, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Joe DiMaggio.