s'étaler au frottement

Angela Thomas

Senior Member
English -- USA
Hi again!
DOC: 1907 Museum catalog of ancient Egyptian mirrors.
CONTEXT: 44007. Mirror. -- Bronze and wood. [....] CONSERVATION. Intact dans l'ensemble. Le disque est couvert d'une fine croûte d'oxydation qui découvre parfois la dorure: par endroits, couche d'une substance grasse qui s'étale au frottement. Les coins de serrage ont disparu.
ATTEMPT: PRESERVATION. Intact for the most part. The disk is covered with a thin oxide crust which sometimes exposes the gilding: in some places, a layer of a greasy substance which spreads/extends to the rubbing/friction/chafing [+points?]. The tightening wedges have disappeared.
QUERY: I have no idea what the phrase means, I'm just guessing. The one thing I know: it's the only instance of it in all of Google. Perhaps there's something missing or there's a typo?
Thank you in advance!
 
  • Angela Thomas

    Senior Member
    English -- USA
    I think Michelvar really nailed the meaning so I'm going with:
    in some places, a layer of a greasy substance which spreads when rubbed. Itisi seems to second the same idea and I trust both interpretations, they seem solid to me.
     

    Angela Thomas

    Senior Member
    English -- USA
    Oh, I see, I thought it is in the present, as in: if you touch/rub it, it still spreads like grease.
    But you're saying it means: "a layer of a greasy, spreadable substance." Have I got it now? I wonder what this substance could be. Anything with "au frottement" is extremely hard to figure out!
     

    Itisi

    Senior Member
    English UK/French
    All I'm saying is that you could just say, 'which can be spread' without saying 'when rubbed', because it's redundant. But perhaps it's just me, and it's a minor point.
     
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