Does anyone have a bronze head they can lend me?



Late addition (July 2019)

Please forgive this postscript, correction, “prescript”,  correction, intrusion, added many years later – based on some 350 and more postings here and elsewhere.

That’s including some 7 years of my hands-on investigation into image-forming techniques, chosen to be credible with simple, indeed crude, medieval (14th century) technology etc etc.

(Oh, and yes, I accept the radiocarbon dating, despite it being restricted to a single non-random corner sample, making all the oh-so-dismissive, oh-so-derogatory statistics-based sniping totally irrelevant – a ranging shot being just that me dears- a single ranging shot, albeit subdivided into three for Arizona, Oxford and Zurich).
Sindonology (i.e. the “science” , read pseudoscience – of the so-called “Shroud ” of Turin) can be simply summed up. It’s a re-branding exercise, one designed to pretend that the prized Turin possession is not just J of A’s “fine linen”, described in the biblical account as used to transport a crucified body from cross to tomb.

Oh no, it goes further, much further, way way beyond the biblical account. How? By making out that it was the SAME linen as that described in the Gospel of John, deployed as final “burial clothes”. Thus the description “Shroud” for the Turin Linen, usually with the addition “burial shroud”. Why the elision of two different linens, deployed for entirely different purposes (transport first, then final interment)? 
Go figure! Key words to consider are: authentic relic v manufactured medieval icon; mystique, peaceful death-repose, unlimited opportunity for proposing new and ever more improbable image-formation mechanisms etc. How much easier it is to attach the label “Holy” to Shroud if seen as final burial clothes, in final at-peace repose – prior to Resurrection- as distinct from a means of temporary swaying side-to-side transport in an improvised makeshift stretcher !
As I say, a rebranding exercise (transport to final burial shroud) and a very smart and subtle one at that . Not for nothing did that angry local Bishop of Troyes suddenly refer to a “sleight of hand” after allegedly accepting it when first displayed. Seems the script was altered, or as some might say, tampered with! It might also explain why there were two Lirey badges, not just one. Entire books could be written on which of the two came first… I think I know which, with its allusion (?) to the Veil of Veronica… yes, there are alternative views (the face above “SUAIRE” a visual link to the face-only display of the Linen as the “Image of Edessa” or as that on the then current “Shroud” per se.


Face shown  (left) on mid- 14th century Machy Mould (recently discovered variant of the Lirey Pilgrim Badge) above the word “SUAIRE” (allegedly meaning “shroud”). Inset image on the right: one version among many of the fabled “Veil of Veronica” image.  I say the two are related, and deliberately so, but this is not the time or place to go into detail.

No, NOT  a resurrectional selfie, but instead a full size version of, wait for it,  the legendary VEIL OF VERONICA , product of inital body contact – no air gaps- between body and fabric, but with one important difference. The Turin image was intended to look more realistic, less artistic.

How? By displaying a negative tone-reversed image implying IMPRINT (unless, that is, you’re a modern day sindonologist, in which case ‘resurrectional proto-photographic selfie” becomes the preferred, nay, vigorously proferred explanation assisted by unrestrained imagination, creation of endless pseudoscience etc etc, with resort to laser beams, corona discharges, nuclear physics, elementary particles, earthquakes etc etc – the list is seemingly endless! 
Welcome to modern day sindonology. 
Personally, I prefer no-nonsense feet-on-the-ground hypothesis-testing science, aided by lashings of, wait for it, plain down-to-earth common sense.

Start of original posting:



As I said earlier, the next step is to try out my new thermal-imprinting technique (“LOTTO”) on something larger than the crucifix used previously (see previous posting).  It needs to be something that can fit comfortably inside my kitchen oven,  preferably with lots of in-the-round 3D and relief detail, and not too dissimilar from the Man on the TS.

I’ve been searching online for hot-cast bronze, i.e  real 100% bronze ( copper-tin alloy), not the lighter, cheaper look-alike substitutes that are called resin-bronze.

But there’s a problem – cost.

Hot-cast bronze from the classical catalogue (Greek heads)

Hot-cast bronze from the classical catalogue (Greek boxers’ heads)

One of those would be ideal. But I don’t want to spend £385 (+£25 postage) simply to do a one-off experiment (no matter how satisfying the result). Yup, £385:

price list greek boxers head 385 cropped highlighted

Is there anyone out there who owns a life-size bronze head,  who would not object to it being heated to a max of 300 degrees Celsius approx, all in the name of science?  The surface finish may suffer a little, but hot-cast bronze should otherwise be unaffected.

I’d  be happy to pay return postage needless to say.

Please leave a comment on this post, and I’ll provide an email address.

Postscript (11 December) :   Have heard back from the bronze supplier who interestingly suggested the Greek boxer head as maybe fitting the bill.  But we science bods are fickle where first ideas are concerned,  and I’m now having second thoughts about purchasing a fully-in-the-round- head.

Why? Looking at the heads in the graphic above, there would clearly be excessive lateral distortion if one tried to imprint around the sides, especially to reach that hairline. But do I hear people say: “Hold on. That’s a cop-out!” ? Perhaps, but then I have never made a secret of my belief that that face of the Man on the TS looks too mask like, with those sharp cut-offs between cheeks and hair, and the hair too does not look realistic. Garlaschelli considered that a bas relief template was used for the face, and so do I, so there’s no point in using a full 3D head if it simply confirms lateral distortion. What I shall do instead is try and find a good bas relief of a head with hair, with lots of relief and detail, but not excessive 3D, over and above the minimum needed to get a good thermal imprint that is likely to respond well to light/dark reversal and 3D enhancement.

Postscript 23rd December:

Posted as comment to the Porter site a few minutes ago, addressed primarily to David Goulet (one of the few there blessed with an truly open and enquiring mind).

Thanks David.

I had an opportunity recently – under a cloak of anonymity –  to make Telegraph readers aware of my outlandish ideas, e.g a possible link with Jacques de Molay and those Templars (see following comment).

Nobody turned a hair, despite a strong presence of Catholics in its readership, which is exactly as it should be.

Merry Christmas, erstwhile friends and foes.

About Colin Berry

Retired science bod, previous research interests: phototherapy of neonatal jaundice, membrane influences on microsomal UDP-glucuronyltransferase, defective bilirubin and xenobiotic conjugation and hepatic excretion, dietary fibre and resistant starch.
This entry was posted in Shroud of Turin and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.