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Title: The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration, Volume 01, No. 07, July, 1895 - Italian Wrought Iron
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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VOL. I. JULY, 1895. No. 7.


The wrought iron of the middle ages, and of the time of the Renaissance,
and even down to the last century, in Italy, France, and Germany showed,
in the crudest examples, the principal virtues of all true decorative
art. The reason is not far to seek. The difficulties in the way of
working the material with ease imposed certain limitations in design and
execution which could not well be disregarded. The lack of machinery
(which is responsible for much of the uninteresting character of our
modern work) necessarily compelled the use of comparatively simple and
straightforward methods. It was difficult to avoid the tell-tale marks
of the smith's work, and there were limits beyond which his skill could
not carry it. Furthermore the designer, taking these limitations into
account, learned to make the most of his possibilities, and to adapt his
design to the material--to design in the material. How different from
the methods generally in use now! Designs made to imitate something done
in another material, turned out by the hundred from a machine which
leaves no indication of its work, with all interest of craftsmanship
lacking, except in places where it may be vulgarly thrown in your face
to make it look as if it had been "hand-made."

Clever imitations of old work are produced, and indeed some of the
examples shown in our plates are reproductions and not originals; and if
we cannot have new designs of equal excellence this is the next most
desirable thing. And so far as the illustrations are concerned the
difference between the original and the reproduction could never be

The subjects chosen for the illustrations of this number are lanterns
and torch-bearers. The lanterns were in reality torch-bearers, as they
were made for holding masses of combustible material which were held in
place by the central spike.

The curious lanterns that decorate the Strozzi Palace at Florence, and
of which similar specimens are still attached to the angles of the
Riccardi Palace, once the famous residence of the Medici, in the same
city, are among, the best examples of their kind still remaining. We are
informed by Vasari that these "_lumière miravigliosi_" were the work of
one Nicolo Grosso Caparra, a celebrated artificer of the time, by whom
it is not unlikely that many of the beautiful rings and cressets which
still decorate the old palaces of Siena may have been executed. On the
centre spike was fixed a little iron barrel, containing tow and pitch,
while on each of the other spikes a torch was fastened. In some of the
old engravings of the festivities given at night by the Grand Dukes of
Tuscany, the representations of the effect of this mode of illumination
may be seen. It is said that the privilege of affixing such cressets to
a residence was one conferred by the State only on the most
distinguished citizens, as a peculiar honor, in acknowledgment of
services performed.

[Illustration: XLIX. Wrought Iron Lantern on the Strozzi Palace,



This is one of the finest examples of Italian wrought iron work still
existing, and has frequently served as a model for lanterns in recent

[Illustration: L. Wrought Iron Lantern on the Palazzo Guadagni,



[Illustration: LI. Wrought Iron Lantern on the Palazzo Bocella, Lucca.]



[Illustration: LII. Wrought Iron Lantern on the Palazzo Baroni nel
Fillungo, Lucca.]



[Illustration: LIII. Wrought Iron Torch Holder, Public Square, Siena.]


This is attached to a column which bears the group representing Romulus
and Remus, and which is situated in the public square near the

[Illustration: LIV. Wrought Iron Torch Holder, Siena.]

[Illustration: LV. Wrought Iron Torch Holder, Siena.]


These two plates represent the same torch-holder, viewed from front and

[Illustration: LVI. Wrought Iron Torch Holder, Siena.]


This together with the preceding example are reproductions of old work.

Reproduction of Architects' Drawings.

The development of photographic processes for the reproduction of
drawings which has taken place within the past few years has led to a
remarkable increase in the publication of architects' designs, both in
the technical journals and in the popular magazines and daily press.
Undoubtedly the recent progress of architectural design in America is
largely due to the opportunity for comparison thus placed within the
reach of architects and draughtsmen who could not otherwise place their
productions beside those of their fellows. So important has this become
that an architectural paper is now usually judged almost entirely upon
the quality of its illustrations, the text matter being not only
secondary, but in some cases serving only as a vehicle for the plates.
In fact, some of the most valuable and most highly esteemed
architectural publications are entirely devoid of text.

It naturally happens that many of the drawings made in the ordinary
course of an architect's work sooner or later fall into the hands of the
publishers of some of the architectural papers or are required for
publication in other directions. When such drawings have been made
without a proper knowledge of the requirements of the reproductive
processes the result is frequently very unsatisfactory, and in many
cases gives an entirely unfair impression of the design, while this
difficulty might have been easily avoided by a little forethought, and
without any additional labor.

A few fundamental points which can always be kept in mind will enable
draughtsmen to make sure that their work will reproduce well, that is to
say, will give a fairly truthful reproduction of the original drawing.

There are at present in use a large number of printing processes
depending upon photography as a basis, by which drawings may be
duplicated, but they can be roughly divided into two main classes
according to the character of the original drawings. In general, line
drawings may be treated by one process, while those in which there is a
gradation of tones or tints, no matter in what way produced (except by
distinct lines), require another and entirely different process. Line
reproductions may be made in several different ways, but the
requirements in the original drawing are the same in each. The first
requisite is that a drawing shall be made in absolutely black ink on
white paper, and with clear, firm lines. With a little care it is just
as easy to make a drawing in this way as any other, and a satisfactory
reproduction can be assured when it is kept in mind that nothing but
black will give the best results. In the early days of process work it
was customary to use India ink ground by the draughtsman, but excellent
liquid inks, such, for instance, as that made by Charles M. Higgins &
Co., have taken the place of this, at a great saving of labor and
trouble. It is only necessary to take care that the ink is new and not
too watery, and that a sufficient amount is carried in the pen to insure
a black line. Gray lines, although full and continuous, are very apt to
be ragged and broken in the reproduction. Aside from this first
condition there are few others which are really mandatory. A drawing
made with vigorous, well-defined lines and rather open in treatment
will, as a rule, make the most satisfactory reproduction.

There is never difficulty in getting a good reproduction from such work
as that by which Mr. H.P. Kirby or Mr. D.A. Gregg is known. For this
purpose their style could hardly be improved upon. A drawing can be made
with fine and delicate lines and still reproduce well if there is not
too much difference in size between the original and the reproduction
required. In general, the best results can be obtained by making the
plate about two thirds the size of the original.

Drawings in colored inks on tinted paper are difficult to reproduce
satisfactorily, and of all combinations a bluish ink upon a yellowish
paper is to be avoided.

In general, it can be said that everything, even including line drawings
in pen and ink, _can_ be reproduced by the half-tone processes, the
quality of the plate depending upon the character of the original.
Water-colors, monochrome drawings in wash, pencil drawings and any
combinations of these, are reproducible, but with varying success. The
same conditions which apply to line work also hold good to a
considerable extent in the present case. A combination of vigorous black
ink lines and lighter more delicate work put in with thinned or gray ink
will in all probability be very unsatisfactory, as the chances of
holding the relation between the two, or in fact of preserving the
lighter lines at all, without over-emphasizing the darker portions, will
not be very great. Delicate drawings can seldom be reproduced without
giving a background tint all over, and this usually destroys the life
and snap of the original. This is especially true of drawings upon
reddish or yellowish paper, which on this account should be avoided if
possible. It should be borne in mind that yellow and red photograph
dark; and blue, light. This often makes a great difference of effect in
the reproduction and sometimes makes it impossible to get satisfactory
results at all, especially in delicate drawings.

Pencil drawings made with light lines will not reproduce well, as there
is too little contrast in color between the lines and the paper; but
sketches made with a soft pencil and strong contrasts frequently give
surprisingly good results.

When drawings are to be made, especially for reproduction, the question
of expense is often of importance. Plates made from pen drawings now
cost about ten cents a square inch, while half-tone plates made of metal
for printing on an ordinary printing press with type matter cost about
twenty-five cents a square inch.

By using specially prepared process papers, which, if not sold by a
local dealer in artists' materials, can be had of Messrs. Wadsworth,
Rowland & Co., or Frost & Adams, drawings can be made in pencil or black
crayon which can be reproduced by the cheaper process, and will give
excellent results. Considering the ease with which this work can be done
and the satisfactory results obtained, it is surprising that it has not
been more generally adopted. The only drawback to working upon this
paper is the fact that no erasures or changes can be made without
ruining the surface of the paper.

In connection with what has already been considered in relation to the
reproduction of drawings, it may be well to refer to the making of
plates from photographs. The selection of a good photograph is of the
first importance. It should be brilliant, and with all the contrast of
light and shade and as much detail as possible, for something is always
lost in both these respects in the process of reproduction. A good plate
can be made from a good photograph, but cannot from a bad one. The
process is the same as that referred to above for the reproduction of
wash drawings, etc., and the cost the same, about twenty-five cents a
square inch. The half-tone plates in THE BROCHURE SERIES, made by The
Blanchard & Watts Engraving Company, Boston, are good examples of
first-class work of this description.

The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration.




       *       *       *       *       *

Subscription Rates per year--50 cents, in advance

Special Club Rates for five subscriptions--$2.00

       *       *       *       *       *

Entered at the Boston Post Office as Second-class Matter.

       *       *       *       *       *

No subject at present occupies so important a place in the thoughts of
American architects as that of architectural education, if the space
given to it in recent publications is an indication of its importance.
The proceedings of the annual convention of the American Institute of
Architects, held last autumn in New York, have just been published, and
no less than five papers are included which deal with one or another
phase of this subject. The later numbers of the professional journals
also contain several noteworthy contributions to the discussion. Mr.
Barr Ferree's criticism in _The Architectural Review,_ of the methods of
training pursued in the School of Fine Arts in Paris, have led to
several papers by adherents of the French system and to a
well-considered editorial in the same paper. But the most important
contribution to the question is that of Mr. Henry Rutgers Marshall in
the last number of _The Architectural Record,_ which also contains a
descriptive article upon the Royal Polytechnicum at Berlin and its
course of study.

There is very little in any of these articles which adds to the existing
knowledge on this largely discussed subject; it is what might be
considered a rethreshing of old straw, and the main value of all of the
articles is in the presentation, which may appeal to readers who have
not before thought of the matter in all of its bearings. The papers read
before the convention begin with the report of the committee on
education, by Mr. Henry Van Brunt. In this Mr. Van Brunt advocates the
careful and systematic study of architectural history; and it was the
purpose of the report to bring out discussion which might lead to
valuable suggestions to the architectural schools upon the study of
this subject. Mr. Geo. B. Post, of New York, Professor Ware, of Columbia
College, and several others took part in the discussion which resulted
in merely recommitting the question to the committee on education, as it
was not considered advisable to take any definite action which would
bind the Institute to a settled policy on this question. Mr. Louis H.
Sullivan, of Chicago, in a thoughtful paper complained that education
stifles and kills the spirit of modern architectural work, and that the
natural and spontaneous love for beauty found in all human beings gives
place, under our modern systems of instruction, to the dry formalities
of reproducing old and dead styles.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Frank Miles Day and Mr. R.W. Gibson, each in his own way, described
the advantages of foreign travel and the best methods to pursue, as well
as the most important ends to be attained.

Mr. Russell Sturgis, in a scholarly paper upon the subject of Greek
architecture applied to modern buildings, gave a number of precepts for
the proper use of Greek forms and methods of building as applied to our
modern conditions. He closed his article with a lot of receipts much in
the style of an architectural cook book, for the application of his
theories concerning Greek architecture.

These articles, as will be seen from the above indications, dealt in
most cases with one phase only of architectural education. They are all
of course important in their way, as contributing to the general
discussion of the subject, but each in turn gives only a partial view.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Marshall, however, starts with the intention of making a full and
fair statement of existing conditions and logically draws his inferences
as to the best methods of meeting them. He has the valuable
qualification of being able to consider his subject judicially and of
writing excellent and readable English, as has already been pointed out
in these columns, in the review of his recently published book,
"Æsthetic Principles."

He divides the subject for convenience into three main headings: first,
the use of tools, including in his classification the executive function
of handling men as well as tools in the narrower and legitimate sense;
second, the nature of materials employed; and third, the general
principles of beauty. Under the first heading Mr. Marshall makes one
important suggestion, which is at variance with common practice among
architects. After pointing out the importance of studying design in the
solid, that is, constantly keeping in mind that the forms which are to
be designed have three dimensions, and that a geometrical projection,
such as a plan or elevation, only partially represents its appearance,
he advocates the more general use of perspective drawing in designing.
By this is not meant the making of pretty sketches after the design is
all determined, to mislead impressionable clients, but the serious study
of a design to determine its appearance from different points of view.
In fact his suggestion is that the usual order of proceeding shall be
reversed, and that the design shall be made in perspective and then
translated into accurate terms of such geometrical projections as are
needed to guide the practical workman in carrying out the work.

In treating of materials Mr. Marshall takes up separately the materials
of construction and the materials of design, meaning by the latter the
vocabulary in which the architect expresses his ideas, or the
accumulation of architectural forms making up the various historic
styles, so-called. He emphasizes the importance--in which point he
agrees with all the other writers above referred to--of a wide and
catholic knowledge of architectural history and a careful study of all

In summing up in the portion of the article devoted to the general
principles of beauty as applied to architecture he gives a clear and
concise statement of the reasons why beauty is in itself a necessary and
desirable element in architecture, and roughly analyzes the conditions
under which it exists.

       *       *       *       *       *

Brochure Series Competition, No. I.

The judges in the BROCHURE SERIES COMPETITION No. I, for a Piano Case
have awarded the three prizes as follows:--First Prize, $25.00, to Mr.
A.B. Le Boutillier of Boston; Second Prize, $15.00, to Mr. Edward F.
Maher of Boston; Third Prize, $10.00 to Mr. James C. Green of Brooklyn,

The report of the judges with reproductions of the prize designs will be
given in the next issue of the BROCHURE SERIES.

The drawings have been retained by the H.F. Miller Piano Co. for
exhibition at their warerooms and will be returned by them at the close
of the exhibition.

       *       *       *       *       *

Clark Medal Competition.

The seventh annual competition for the Robert Clark Testimonial, under
the auspices of the Chicago Architectural Club, is herewith presented.

CONDITIONS.--The competition is open to architectural draughtsmen under
thirty years of age, residents of the United States, and not practicing

The author of each design must execute all drawings without assistance,
and non-adherence to these conditions will cause the rejection of the
design or designs in question.

The awards will be made by the adjudicating committee on the "Robert
Clark Testimonial Competition," and are: First prize, gold medal; second
prize, silver medal; third prize, bronze medal.

The two designs receiving honorable mention will receive special bronze

The three prize drawings shall become the property of the Chicago
Architectural Club.

AN ART SCHOOL.--A gentleman wishing to share his large and valuable
collection of paintings, statuary and architectural fragments with his
townsmen, has decided to place them in a building which he proposes to
erect for the study of architecture, painting and sculpture.

The building is to face the town square, and is to be not more than one
hundred and fifty feet in its greatest dimensions.

It shall consist of one story and a high basement.

The first story shall contain the following rooms:

1st. A large entrance gallery for the placing and hanging of statuary
and paintings. This hall should be the main feature of the plan, and
should be carefully arranged for convenient and advantageous display,
without destroying the architectural effect. It may be one continuous
hall or divided into parts, at the discretion of the architect. It may
be lighted from above.

2d. A large glass-covered court to contain architectural fragments.

3d. An amphitheatre, to seat about two hundred, for lectures on art
subjects. A library and an assembly hall.

4th. Four class rooms. These rooms should be well-lighted and of easy
access to the court and gallery.

5th. A janitor's room and an office for the custodian. These rooms may
be small, but should be conveniently placed either at the entrance to
the building or to the grounds.

As the number of the students is limited, the size of the rooms is of
less importance than the circulation, convenience and artistic beauty of
the whole.

The building, being the home of the arts, should be pure in style and
classical in feeling, though not necessarily archæological.

Drawings required, viz.: One plan and one section at the scale of
one-sixteenth of an inch to one foot, and the front elevation at the
scale of one-eighth of an inch to one foot.

Drawings to be rendered at will; to be mounted on strainers 28x40,
without frames or glass.

A sealed envelope containing the name and full address of the author,
with place and date of birth, must be securely fastened to each drawing;
the drawings and envelopes themselves must not be marked by a device of
any kind.

Drawings must be delivered to John Robert Dillon, secretary, Chicago
Architectural Club, at the club house, 274 Michigan Avenue, Chicago, on
or before Friday, November 15, 1895, charges to be prepaid. All drawings
not receiving prizes will be returned at the expense of the contributor.

    L.J. MILLET, Chairman;
    The Adjudicating Committee on the Robert Clark Testimonial.

       *       *       *       *       *


The death of Richard Morris Hunt, at Newport, R.I., on July 31, deprives
the architectural profession in this country of the man who, since the
death of Mr. Richardson, has been its most distinguished representative.
His influence upon American architecture is possibly less directly
traceable than that of Richardson, and was more of a personal nature
through association with his brother architects, while Richardson's
example was his most important legacy to the profession.

Mr. W.S. Hebbard will, on September 1, occupy new offices in the Grant
Building, San Diego, Cal., which he is just completing for U.S. Grant,
Jr., Esq.

Among the recent additions to the working force of Mr. Aiken,
Supervising Architect of the Treasury, are Mr. F.B. Wheaton, formerly
with Messrs. Longfellow, Alden, & Harlow, and Mr. Rice, formerly with
Wheelwright & Haven.

Mr. Geo. H. Ingraham, who has recently opened an office at 6 Beacon
Street, Boston, is now absent on a short European trip.

Mr. George E. Barton, for several years with Cram, Wentworth, & Goodhue,
of Boston, has just started for a tour of England and France, with the
special purpose of studying the domestic and church architecture of the
smaller cities and towns.

Mr. C.H. Alden, who has lately returned from six months' travel, mostly
in Italy, has made a careful study of the brick and terra-cotta
architecture of Northern Italy. He has just entered the office of
Messrs. Wyatt and Nölting, Baltimore.

Each year since the University of Pennsylvania Traveling Scholarship was
founded, a prominent member of the T Square Club has been the winner;
and that Mr. Percy Ash, ex-president of this club, should carry off the
prize this year is particularly gratifying.

Mr. Ash has twice before competed, and each time came out a close
second; but his old luck did not entirely forsake him, for in his
venture for the Roman Scholarship Prize he was very near to the front,
winning honorable mention.

H.L. Duhring, Jr., was a close second for the U. of P. Scholarship.

At the last regular T Square Club meeting, but two sets of drawings were
submitted. The program called for a "Garden for a Palatial Country
House," and required a plan of the house and terrace at 1/8" scale,
and a plan and section of the entire garden at a scale of 1/32 of an

The problem was modeled after the _projet_ given at the Ecole des
Beaux-Arts, and required so vast an amount of graded wash work in color,
as to intimidate many of the regular competitors. A.C. Muñoz, who won
first mention, submitted three drawings, two of them nearly three by
four feet, while Albert Kelsey was disqualified for not having fulfilled
the requirements by omiting the 1/8" scale plan.

Some discussion advocating the postponement of the competition took
place, but Kelsey seemed to prefer being disqualified rather than
further exert himself; and possibly the knowledge that three draughtsmen
in Day's office and two in Cope & Stewardson's office had two unfinished
designs to complete, may have influenced him. In spite of the result of
this competition the eleven points previously won by Mr. Kelsey give him
the highest average for the past year's work.

       *       *       *       *       *


Of the many minor or industrial arts which enter into a complete
architectural production, that of the smith is one of the most
fascinating, and strangely enough, it is one which at the present time
has the fewest workers who can be worthily compared with those of the
past. In the estimation of many of the most prominent and exacting
architects of the country there is but one maker of ornamental wrought
iron in America who can be trusted to intelligently carry out the spirit
of a fine design. Why this should be so it is hard to say, but the fact
remains that most of the best iron work done in this country in recent
years has come from the shop of John Williams of New York; and
architects, it may be said, instinctively turn to him for work of this

The characteristics which distinctively belong to the art of the smith,
the limitations of material and the purpose for which the finished work
is intended are all taken into account and each element given its due
importance. To Mr. H.B. Stillman, associated with Mr. Williams, who has
for a number of years taken personal charge of this branch of the
business, is largely due the success which has attended the efforts of
his house.


The suburban house architecture of the towns about Boston is of
exceptional interest and its quality is generally considered to be
equal, if not superior, to that of any other locality in the country.
The reason for its superiority in design and consequent interest is
largely traceable to the influence of such architects as Peabody &
Stearns, Winslow & Wetherell, Andrews, Jaques & Rantoul, Hartwell &
Richardson and a number of others who have given especial attention to
residence work.

One of the most attractive collections of houses of this class which we
have seen is contained in a finely printed little booklet issued by
Dexter Bros., of Boston. It contains photographic illustrations of
eleven houses designed by the architects named above, and others. The
houses themselves are hardly more attractive than the excellently chosen
and finely reproduced photographic views. Messrs. Dexter Bros., upon
application, will send this booklet to any architect or draughtsman.

For fastening any sort of work to stone or brick the clever expansion
bolt, patented and manufactured by Isaac Church, of Toledo, is, on every
count, the best device to specify. Patterns for every special use
imaginable are made by him and fully described in his catalogue.

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