Underneath the sofa
June 25, 2011 3:37 PM   Subscribe

X-ray technology developed for airport security and bomb disposal is now being used to see beneath the surface of eighteenth-century furniture. The resulting images are unexpectedly clear and often beautiful in themselves, revealing not just nails and screws but also layers of upholstery and even woodworm tunnels. (Via Treasure Hunt, Emile de Bruijn's blog featuring works of art in the National Trust's historic houses.)
posted by verstegan (11 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Neat! It's a shame the thingy's too small to take in a whole piece at once, though.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:44 PM on June 25, 2011

I love seeing the use of modern technology to find out more about historical artifacts and locations (also the recent Palenque microcamera pictures mentioned on the blue). I didn't know the blog, either, so thanks for pointing me at it.
posted by immlass at 4:59 PM on June 25, 2011

Related: The Interiors of Art at The Morning News.
posted by arm's-length at 5:44 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Wow, Treasure Hunt is a treasure of a blog. Thanks verstegan :)
posted by puny human at 5:54 PM on June 25, 2011

The blog is fantastic - I'm having a ball reading the past posts. There's a post on architecture and landscape that has a photo caption "Urn by Robert Adam, park by Lancelot Brown, sky stylist's own."

Anyone that brings their own sky to a photoshoot is fine by me.
posted by ninazer0 at 8:41 PM on June 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you for the blog link, wonderful.
posted by jokeefe at 11:06 PM on June 25, 2011

Fascinating, beautiful. It reminds me of some photos I saw (ages ago) of mended crockery from the 17th and early 18th C. The revelation of these photos of all the nails and fills, worm trails, etc., tugs at my heart a little. The endurance of things - it's like seeing the scars on someone you care for.
posted by Euphorbia at 12:17 AM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Could they have rotated the device around in steps of 10 degrees or so to get moving images. Or place on a stand to do the same vertically. Very good start like computer aided tomography for antiques. ( Also that Acanthus wallpaper on the blog is amazing )
posted by stuartmm at 5:38 AM on June 26, 2011

Just the thing to check 18th century furniture for loose 18th century change!

Seriously how cool would it for this be to find some coin lost in the furniture 200 years ago?
posted by fings at 1:30 PM on June 26, 2011

These are really neat images, but I have to disagree with the claim that this is a "magnificent piece of furniture". That huge mound of a seat and the really low back would make this feel like balancing on a basketball with a limbo bar behind you.
posted by DU at 5:21 AM on June 27, 2011

I see this technology being marketed in the future at those who tend to lose change, keys, or remote controls inside the couch.
posted by mysterpigg at 10:32 AM on June 27, 2011

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