Making and Knowing (Fake) Coral

Making and Knowing (Fake) Coral

Reconstructing a 16th-century workshop with recipes from an anonymous craftsperson’s manuscript.

In a cramped lab, historians from Columbia University and the Chemical Heritage Foundation are reconstructing a 16th-century workshop by re-creating recipes from an anonymous craftsperson’s manuscript. One of the recipes being pursued is for imitation coral, a popular material in early modern jewelry and home décor.