Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Endoscopic Video-Capture Technology Aids Conservation of Rare Cello

The Moritex PalmScope
The Moritex PalmScope authenticated and inspected a rare 18th century cello in the United Kingdom.

Science met music when Moritex's PalmScope video-capture device, fitted with a 9.8mm flexible endoscopic probe, helped the United Kingdom's Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum Conservation Department authenticate and help plan a possible conservation program for a rare early 18th century cello. Chris Egerton, a musical instrument conservator, discovered the instrument in the village church of Berkswell, UK. It had been in the possession of the church since it was made around 1720 by the London instrument maker, John Barrett, but had been lost from public knowledge. To enable authentication and provide detailed internal inspection of the instrument for condition reporting and possible conservation work, a state-of-the-art endoscopic inspection system with powerful image processing capability was required. During examination of the Berkswell Cello, the Moritex PalmScope enabled the authentication of the neck joint as an original feature of construction, which is extremely rare. Detailed microscopic examination allowed assessment of pest damage to the internal surfaces and structures, discovery of a previously unknown surface treatment inside the cello and close examination of the condition of old repairs. Internal inspection also enabled high clarity image capture of the original maker's label: "John Barrett at the Harp and Crown, Pickadilly, London 1720." "Without the use of the Moritex PalmScope we would have had to rely on unsatisfactory traditional viewing methods such as using an inspection mirror with its inherent limitations and without the facility of image recording," Egerton said. "All our discoveries have enabled better-informed judgments to be made about the condition and subsequent conservation program for the Berkswell Cello." Moritex Lightscopes are designed for testing and visual inspection in tight, inaccessible locations. They are available with rigid or flexible probes, each with battery powered illumination and come equipped with the highest-quality optics. Focus range is adjustable from 10mm to infinity and with c-mount compatibility all Lightscopes may be interfaced to mobile video or digital recording systems. Rotational side-view adapters are provided with all probes to further enhance value and range.

PalmScope can capture still images or video clips onto a removable CompactFlash card. Video clips are captured at full NTSC or PAL resolution, at 30 or 25 fps respectively, and stored in Motion-JPEG (MJPEG) compressed format.

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