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Methods and tools for the classification and cataloging of antique moulds from the collection of the Richard-Ginori factory

Journal of Cultural Heritage
DOI: 10.1016/j.culher.2013.11.001
  • Plaster Mould
  • Data-Base
  • Virtual Model
  • 3D Laser Scanning
  • Artistic Porcelain
  • Richard-Ginori Factory
  • Design


Abstract This study proposes a procedure for digitally classifying and cataloging moulds which belong to the historic collection of the Ginori porcelain factory in Doccia (Sesto Fiorentino, Italy). In addition to a vast number of antique plaster moulds, this collection includes artistic porcelain artifacts obtained from casting porcelain using the moulds and models made of various materials. The proposed methodology includes two workflows: the first starts with photographic and casting processes conducted recently on various groups of moulds and involves historical surveys for investigating the relationships between the various sets of moulds, the models from which they were derived and the porcelain objects derived from them. The second workflow was applied when no information was available for a set of moulds, and involved 3D scanning of the moulds, with virtual reconstruction of the corresponding model followed by a final art historical survey like that used in the first procedure. 3D scanning techniques and successive model reconstruction can also be applied for obtaining a virtual model in the first process, when the physical model was lost, damaged or never existed. The variety and extent of the Ginori collection suggested the use of a customized Data-Base (DB) and a set of functions designed to manage and extract information, data and archived images. This filing system, called DocciaDigitalArchive (DDA), also makes it possible to specify the relationships between the different typology samples (prototype models, moulds derived from them, handmade porcelain objects produced from these moulds), which are associated when the same subject is portrayed. The DB structure conceived also provides the possibility of incorporating pictures and data of known archetypes. This additional information makes it possible to place each subject in its historical and artistic context. For each sample filed in the DDA system, documentary cards, which summarize data, images, reports and links to other entities or samples connected to the subject consulted, can be viewed on a suitable interface.

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