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Endoscopic Video Capture Technology Aids Conservation of Rare Cello

MORITEX North America, Inc.


Endoscopic Video Capture Technology Aids Conservation of Rare CelloMoritex (www.moritex.com) has announced that its PalmScope™ video capture device, fitted with a 9.8mm flexible endoscopic probe, has enabled the UK's Royal College of Art / Victoria & Albert Museum Conservation Department to authenticate and help plan the possible program of conservation for a rare early 18th century cello.

During a recent project Chris Egerton, a musical instrument conservator studying for a Master's degree on the joint Royal College of Art / Victoria & Albert Museum Conservation Programme, rediscovered a rare early 18th Century cello in the village church of Berkswell, UK.  The instrument had been in the possession of the church since it was made in 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 selected for the project.

During examination of the Berkswell 'Cello the Moritex Palmscope fitted with flexible endoscope 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, the 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 makers label: 'John Barrett at the Harp and Crown, Pickadilly, London 1720' as well as a later repairers mark.

Chris Egerton commented ‘‘ Without the use of the Moritex Palmscope with flexible endoscope 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’‘.  He added ‘‘All our discoveries have enabled better-informed judgements 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. Available with rigid or flexible probes, each with integral battery powered illumination, Moritex Lightscopes are equipped with the highest quality optics to ensure distortion free viewing with true colour reproduction. 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 that further enhance the value and range of use of this instrumentation.  All Moritex Lightscopes are waterproof and constructed of stainless steel and inert industrial grade polymers to ensure long operational lifetime. In combination with other video devices - for example the Moritex PalmScope or VideoStore - endoscopic images can be easily stored, processed and displayed.

PalmScope™ is a unique portable product that is able to capture both still images and video clips onto a removable CompactFlash card.  Storage capacity is limited only by the size of the CompactFlash card used, a 2GB card will hold many thousands of images or approximately 80 minutes of video.  Video clips are captured at full NTSC or PAL resolution, at 30 or 25 frames per second (fps) respectively, and stored in Motion-JPEG (MJPEG) compressed format. PalmScope™ has been designed for ease-of-use and convenience. Captured images and video clips are automatically named with the date and a sequence label.   The PalmScope™ includes a convenient thumbnail gallery feature with cataloguing functions to help in archiving and retrieving audio / visual data files.  PalmScope™ includes a range of cataloguing functions help in archiving and retrieving them, including the ability to rename, delete and move or copy data files between folders. An individual image may be selected for full size viewing. Alternatively images can be easily transferred to a PC where they can be displayed or processed by any suitable image editing software.  PalmScope™ is simple to operate, using intuitive onscreen displays, and the keypad can be operated even when wearing gloves or protective clothing.  For convenience the PalmScope™ can be switched for either left- or right-handed use and offers a choice of language for all on-screen display operations in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. 

For further information on this project, or the LightScope / PalmScope system please contact Moritex by telephone on +44-1223-301148 (Europe) or +1-408-363-2100 (North America).
European HQ
Moritex Europe Ltd.
14, Signet Court
Swanns Road
Cambridge  CB5 8LA
tel.  +44-1223-301148
web www.moritex.com
North America
Moritex USA Inc. (East)
209 W. Central St.
Suite #201b
Natick, MA 01760
T: +1-508-315-3340
F: +1-508-315-3392

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