John Rudiak (email@example.com)
Mon, 31 May 1999 10:50:22 -0600
While the platinum itself is inert, probably its most valuable property is its
function as a catalyst, which is an agent which enables reactions to occur at
lower energy levels without itself being affected by the reaction. The print
in your example is most probably causing a reaction in compounds in the paper
the folder is made of, which is likely of lower purity than the paper the print
is made on.
As an interesting aside, this characteristic makes it arguable that the gold
print, not having nearly as strong a catalytic capability, is the most
permanent work on paper, not the platinum print.
Robert Hudyma wrote:
> I have a Portrait of a lady, printed in Platinum, that was probably made in
> the 1920's. The portrait was placed in a paper holder that folded over
> like a greeting card.
> When you open the folder up, the portrait is on the right hand side, but a
> very warm soft image is on the left hand side, where the portrait was in
> contact with the paper. The effect is really beautiful and I thought that
> it was part of the original image that was provided by the studio. But, I
> was told that, over the years, the Platinum from the original image had
> reacted with the paper that was in contact with the image, which resulted
> in a mirror image transferring to the opposite side of the folder.
> I made the comment that the Platinum image was archival, and I was told
> that although the Platinum was stable, it was still reacting with the paper
> and causing the paper to disintegrate.
> Some questions:
> Once a platinum image is made, will it *continue* to react with the paper
> and *accelerate* its destruction? What is the estimated speed of this:
> hundreds of years or longer?
> Is this reaction, sufficiently slow, or benign so as not to affect the
> natural life of the paper that the image is printed on?
> How long does it take for an image to transfer in this manner: months or
> tens's of years?
> Finally, did the Platinum actually migrate to the opposite sheet of paper,
> or did the Platinum act as a catalyst to facilitate a reaction with the
> paper and the atmosphere?
> Very best regards,
> Robert Hudyma, Semi-Tech Corporation, 2800 14th Avenue, Suite 511,
> Markham Ontario, Canada L3R 0E4. Fax: (905) 475-3652
> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> The distinction between past, present and future is only an illusion, even
> if a stubborn one. - Albert Einstein
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