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Title: A Complete Guide to the Ornamental Leather Work
Author: Revell, James
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Complete Guide to the Ornamental Leather Work" ***

Transcriber’s Note: italic text is denoted by _underscores_ and bold
text by =equals signs=.




Entered at Stationers’ Hall.








We feel assured that a long introduction is neither requisite to the
reader or publisher of a Work like the present, and shall, therefore,
merely say, that the great success our former little Works have met
with, has induced us to send forth this edition, in which will be found
every particular connected with this very useful source of amusement and
fashionable department of _practical art_. The illustrations are
furnished by a late pupil of the School of Design, who obtained the
highest prize for Flower Painting, assisted by a student of the ROYAL
ACADEMY OF ARTS. Every example given has been practically tested, and,
in most instances, the drawings have been copied from the models
executed in leather, and will be found to combine durability with beauty
of design. In order to make the leather modelling as durable as
possible, we have not departed from nature in the finished form, but in
the mode of construction; for example, we make several portions of a
flower in one piece of leather. The Narcissus and the beautiful White
Lily have each six petals; in both instances, we make the entire corolla
of the flowers in one piece; thereby, while losing none of the beauty of
the natural form of the flowers, we gain strength and solidity; as, were
the petals of the Lily or Narcissus to be composed of six pieces, one,
if imperfectly cemented, might fall off and detract from the beauty of
the entire piece of work. By our method of proceeding, it is impossible
to do so: we mention this, as, in our description of Making and
Modelling Flowers in Leather, we differ from the literally botanic
construction, while, at the same time, we arrive at perfectly correct
and artistic formation.

In some flowers, as in the Hop, Dahlia, &c., we have found it
impracticable to combine many petals in one piece of leather; where this
is the case, especial care must be taken to have good liquid glue, and
fasten each petal securely.

All leather to be used in Modelling Leaves, Flowers, &c., must be first
wetted, and modelled while wet; and as this is a general rule, the
student will understand that mention of the necessity of this operation
will not in every instance be repeated.

Amongst the many uses to which Leather Work is applied, that of
ornamenting Pulpits will be found a capital field for the display of
this art, as it is capable of being moulded into any form, and nothing
can possibly have a more substantial and beautiful appearance.

Glasses of varied form, as jelly glasses and old-fashioned goblets, as
well as many of modern manufacture, can be covered on the outside with
Leather Work. Lilies of the Valley, and other such flowers, being
trailed round a groundwork of leaves, and being either gilded or
stained, look exceedingly well; and as they are capable of holding
water, become really useful as well as ornamental articles for bouquets
of flowers.

Fire-screens and scroll work are executed exactly in the same manner, as
described in the following pages, for frames. Fire-screens are generally
filled with Berlin wool, or some other fancy work. Those who would
prefer to have an entire piece of Leather Work, can paint landscapes or
flowers upon white leather, using the same medium which is used at the
School of Design for body colour painting, mixed with finely powdered

Gold Leather Work looks remarkably well upon a blue or crimson velvet
ground, and makes very rich frames, fire screens, &c. When tastefully
arranged, the flowers and leaves upon these grounds have a very
magnificent appearance.

Amongst the numerous articles which admit of being ornamented with
leather, may be enumerated frames, brackets, vases, pole and hand
screens, card plates and racks, music and watch stands.



Revell’s Complete Guide to Ornamental Leather Work.


_The principal Materials required for this work are_--

  Basil Leather.
  Skiver ditto.
  A Bottle of Oak Varnish Stain.
  Ditto Spirit Stain.
  Ditto Shaw’s Liquid Glue.
  A Bottle of Stiffening.
  A Small Hammer.
  A few Brushes.
  Some Tacks.
  A pair of Nippers.
  A Veining Tool.
  A few hard Steel Pens.
  Pair of Scissors.
  A Leather-cutting Knife.
  Grape Moulds.
  Ditto for Passion Flowers.
  Fine Black Lead Pencil.



The kind of leather used for general purposes is basil; it should be
selected of an even texture and of a light colour, as the lighter
coloured basil takes the oak varnish stain better than the dark.

Great care must be taken to select it soft and free from blemishes, as
if dark and rough leather is used, the work when finished, even by
skilful hands, will not have so good an appearance as the production of
much less skilful artists, where good basil leather is used.

The skiver leather is used for making grapes, or very small leaves and
flowers, and can be obtained at the same place as the basil leather;
this kind is also very useful for thin stems and any minute portion of
the work.


[Illustration: No. 1.]

Sketch, either from nature, or from the example annexed, the leaf you
intend to copy, upon pasteboard; cut it out very carefully; then place a
piece of basil in _cold_ water for half a minute (not longer), unless
the leather is unusually thick; the leather should then be taken out of
the water, and pressed in a linen cloth until the surface becomes dry.
Being thus prepared, lay it quite flat and place upon it the pasteboard
pattern, holding it firmly down with the left hand, while with the
right, draw a line round the pattern with a fine hard black lead pencil
or the veining tool: while the leather is damp cut out the leaf with a
pair of scissors or with the leather-cutting knife, as occasion may
require; when smaller or larger leaves are required, a reduced, or
enlarged, sketch should be taken, a pattern made of it in pasteboard,
and applied in the same manner as described above, cutting out as many
leaves as you require, and generally making about four sizes of them, as
varying the sizes of the leaves adds much to the beauty of the foliage.
Leaves all the same size would have a very formal appearance, as they
must be veined before they are allowed to dry; too much leather must not
be wetted at a time, nor more leaves cut out than can be veined. To vein
the leaves, mark them with the veining tool on the smooth side of the
leather strongly, by pressing heavily on the leaf, where a thick vein is
required; and more lightly where only finer ones should be visible; for
raised veins employ the end of a fine pair of scissors for the large,
and a hard steel pen for the smaller veins. Being veined, the leaves
should be bent and moulded as they are to appear upon the work when it
is completed: they should then be dried rather quickly, as it greatly
assists in the hardening.



When the leaves are thoroughly dry, brush them all over, particularly
the edges with the prepared stiffening, applying it with a camel’s hair
pencil, nimbly, as it dries very rapidly, apply it thin and evenly,
taking care to cover the edges; when dry, they will be ready for


Pour a little oak varnish stain into a small vessel, and brush the
leaves all over, using a hog’s-hair tool for the purpose of laying on
the stain, taking care to cover the edges, and brush it well out of the
veined parts; should the leaves, when dry, not be so dark as desired,
another coat can be given, but in no instance apply thick coats of
stain, it will, if put on thick, most likely dry darker in one place
than another, and will never have so smooth an appearance as when two
thin coats have been applied; take care always that one coat must be dry
before another is applied.


Cut strips of basil leather about one-third of an inch wide and as long
as the leather will allow; soak them well in water for a few minutes
until they feel very soft, take them out, wipe the water from the
surface, then roll them round as tightly as possible (the smooth side
outwards) on a table or any even surface, and dry them; if required very
stiff, add inside a piece of wire; when very thick ones are required the
leather must be proportionately wider.


Tendrils are made in the same manner as Stems, using skiver instead of
basil leather, dry them quickly, and they will then be ready for use in
the following manner: take a tendril, damp it and immediately wind it
round a bradawl or a piece of stout wire, taking care to fasten both
ends of the tendril so that it does not fly off; dry it by the fire,
then remove it from the awl and a delicately-formed tendril will be the
result; arrange it and cut to length and form wished, and apply a coat
of stiffening to keep it in shape. Stems and tendrils are to be hardened
and stained precisely in the same manner as the leaves.


In order to produce grapes symmetrically formed a proper mould should be
obtained; then cut rounds of skiver leather the size required, which
must be wetted and placed in the mould the smooth side downwards; then
fill the leather in the mould firmly with wadding, and tie the grapes
securely with strong thread or fine twine; when the grape is finished,
put a piece of wire through the part where it has been tied up to form a
stalk. Or grapes can be made of deal or any soft wood with a hole
pierced through the centre large enough to admit of a leather or gutta
percha stalk being drawn through and fastened at one end; they should
now be stained and made into clusters; wooden grapes may be covered with
damp skiver leather if preferred; it is necessary to observe, in making
the clusters that the tying should be entirely concealed; all fruit and
flowers must be stained, &c., precisely in the same manner as leaves.


Procure a deal frame of the size and form required, taking care to have
it made of well-seasoned wood. Size it all over with patent size. Leave
it about an hour to dry, then apply a coating of oak varnish stain, and
when dry it will be ready for use. Commence the process of covering by
attaching the stem with small tacks all round, in spaces of a few
inches, in a zigzag direction. Supposing the vine pattern frame is
selected, cover the wood with four or five gradations of foliage, well
arranged, so as to preserve as nearly as possible, the natural
appearance of the vine. Too great a profusion of grapes should be
avoided; but as the number and size of the clusters can hardly be
determined, we must therefore leave it to the taste of the artist.

Common pins can be used with advantage in keeping in its proper place
that portion of the work where glue only can be applied for the
permanent fastening. When the work becomes firmly attached, the pins can
either be withdrawn, or they can be cut off, close to the ornaments,
with the nippers.



[Illustration: No. 2.]

The frames best adapted for the work, we have found to be those levelled
off on the outer edge to about half an inch thinner than the inner, and
formed as shewn in Fig. 1. Frames made in this shape greatly increase
the beauty of the entire design. A narrow gold beading we have generally
added inside, as the gold gives a more finished appearance to the


Can, like one below, be made by every carpenter; they must be strong to
bear the nailing and gluing on of the leather ornaments. The design here
given (Fig. 2), we keep, as well as other descriptions in stock, but
they can be varied _ad infinitum_; and we shall be happy to make any
design to order very promptly, or, as we have before observed, almost
any carpenter can make them, if furnished with a drawing to work from.

[Illustration: No. 3.]



[Illustration: No. 4.]

This beautiful flower, one of the oldest inhabitants of the flower
garden, has six petals, which are formed of one piece of leather, as in
Fig. 1; the three largest petals, which, alternate with the others, are
brought uppermost, while the three smaller ones are placed behind. Our
readers will at once perceive what is meant by referring to the finished
flower; they are to be veined and curled as in the natural flower, and
the petals will require to be glued to keep them in their proper places;
it is necessary, if you have not our mould for that purpose, to adapt
something to place the lily upon while modelling it, as near the shape
of the interior of the flower as possible. The lily has six stamina,
with oblong anthers, which are made in the manner described for the
convolvulus; the pistil, with its swollen base or germen, lengthened
style and heart-shaped stigma, should be carefully imitated from nature,
being a very prominent feature in the flower; the stamina should be
placed round the germen of the pistil and fastened with liquid glue into
the centre of the flower; it must be recollected that the smooth side of
the leather must be inside the lily as in the convolvulus; some flowers
require the smooth side of the leather inside, and some outside; it must
depend upon whether the interior or exterior of the flower is most in
sight, and in some instances in the same flower some petals must be
placed one way, and some another.

The bud of the lily is formed by merely folding the whole corolla
together veined.



[Illustration: No. 5.]

The calyx forms the external part of this flower, and is made with one
piece of leather cut as in the accompanying (Fig. 1). The petals within
this are four, and are cut out, the four in one piece; in the form of
the dotted line, in Fig. 1, they must be moulded into shape and glued
to the stamina inside the calyx so as to alternate with its petals. This
flower belongs to the class Enneandria, having nine stamina; they are to
cut in one piece of leather. To put the fuchsia together, proceed as
follows:--Cut the nine stamina, and attach to them the wire, to form the
stalk; then roll the four petals firmly over the stamina; they must be
moulded and glued round the stamina and stalk, then take the calyx and
roll round the whole; the leaves must be expanded and moulded as in the
engraving, taking care that the stamina are left out as in the natural
flower, and that the inner petals alternate with the leaves of the
calyx; to make the buds, roll up the calyx, and turn the ends in, not
inserting any stamina.


[Illustration: No. 6.]

The beauty of a bracket depends entirely upon the artistic skill
displayed in ornamenting it. The engraving here given is to illustrate
the form of bracket best suited to give it strength and solidity, and to
aid the artist in bringing the work well out, the strips of wood on each
side of the piece in the centre will be found exceedingly useful to nail
and glue the work upon; they must be entirely covered with the foliage;
the centre piece can be hidden or not to suit the design; the appearance
of brackets are much improved by having the edge of the upper part



[Illustration: No. 7.]

The Convolvulus, termed, by Botanists, Monopetalous, from its being
composed of only one petal, is exceedingly well adapted for leather
work; it is made by cutting a half circle of leather with a little piece
cut out of the centre of the diameter, as seen in the annexed engraving
(Fig. 1). The leather so cut must be wetted and veined, then bent round
(the smooth side inside, so that the smooth side of the leather form
the inside of the flowers) until the two edges on each side of the notch
come together, where they are to be joined by being either stitched or
glued together; it will then have a conical shape, and must be moulded
with the fingers, or the mould, until it assumes a natural appearance;
the top can be cut to shape, and that part is finished; cut the stamina,
as in (Fig. 2), leaving a stalk of leather attached to it in the
following manner:--take a piece of basil about a quarter of an inch wide
and a few inches long; cut the top as in Fig. 2, taking care to preserve
the form of the anther at the top of each stamen, and rolling the stalk
part up, put it through the petal and glue it in its proper place. The
calyx has five leaves (Fig. 3), and is cut in one piece of leather; a
hole is made in the centre, it is strung on the stalk and attached with
glue to the bottom of the flower outside as in the finished flower (Fig.
4), so that the perfect convolvulus is composed of three pieces, the
petal forming the body of the flower, the stamina inside, and the calyx
at the bottom of the flower outside.


Another way to make the Convolvulus is to cut a round piece of leather
the size of the flower required, and while wet, moulding it over the
mould for that purpose and bending it into shape; the Canterbury bell
can be formed of one piece of leather in the same manner, cutting the
top into proper shape with a pair of scissors.


[Illustration: No. 8.]

The Hop consists of numerous membraneous scales having the fruit within,
and at their base; with the fruit however we have nothing to do, as it
is out of sight. The membraneous scales are the petals of the flower,
and in the engraving (Fig. 1), are twenty in number; they are all the
same size, and are cut out of skiver leather, the shape of the single
petal (Fig. 2).

To make the Hop, proceed as follows:--Take a piece of wire and wind
leather round the end of it, as in Fig. 3, fastening it well with liquid
glue; this inner body should be somewhat shorter than the Hop is to be
when completed, and pointed at both ends. Cut out as many petals as are
requisite, and mould them into a convex form at the end of each petal,
then glue them alternately, commencing at the bottom and finishing at
the top of the flowers.


The Passion Flower is composed in leather of five pieces, and when well
made presents a very beautiful specimen of what can be accomplished in
that material.

[Illustration: No. 9.]

In making the Passion Flower cut out the calyx of five leaves--that is
the part of the drawing in the annexed diagram with the pointed end;
then cut out the corolla of five petals with the rounded ends; cut also
a circular piece for the nectary, which must be cut all round with the
knife to form the radii, the centre having many small cuts radiating
from the central point; when turned upward, in putting it in its place,
forms the fringe-like appearance around the pistil seen in the flowers.

[Illustration: No. 10.]

The Passion Flower has five stamina with ladle-shaped ends, or anthers,
and three stigmas a little elevated above and turning over the stamina;
the anthers and stigma are made of one piece of leather. The involucrum
is formed also of one piece, and the three leaves are laid one over the
other as in the annexed flower.

[Illustration: No. 11.]

To put together the various parts above described and form the Passion
Flower, begin by doubling a piece of wire over the angles of the
stamina, twisting it underneath; roll a piece of skiver leather round
the wire to form the style of the pistil and the stem of the whole
flower; then turn up the three stigmas and roll a small piece of leather
round them close to the stamina and turn them over; this being done,
place the nectary on the stem, taking care that the cut portion in the
centre be arranged upwards around the pistil. The petals are next placed
on the stem, followed by the calyx; the leaves of the calyx must
alternate with the petals; liquid glue must be inserted between each
portion of the flower to give it firmness.

The involucrum, which is a sort of calyx, is put on the stem last a
little way below the true calyx; we may just add, that all the leaves,
petals, &c., with the exception of the involucrum, must have the smooth
side of the leather uppermost; the petals and calyx must be hollowed out
with the modelling tool for that purpose, or if that is not at hand, use
the handle of the veining tool, and laying the petals and also the calyx
on a smooth surface, rub them with the ivory end of the veining tool
till they become hollow and smooth as in the natural flower.

[Illustration: No. 12.]

The above is the way, as plainly as we can possibly describe it, to make
a Passion Flower. We have repeatedly made the flower exactly upon the
above plan, and it has always been much admired.



[Illustration: No. 13.]

Camillas vary in the form of leaves, and the petals vary in number. To
make a camilla, cut out two pieces, as in the annexed diagram,
containing four petals in each; then cut out one or two larger pieces,
with six petals in each, and one or more still larger, with seven or
eight petals; then, having a natural camilla at hand, mould them all
into form, fasten all the pieces of leather together, the smallest at
the top, and the largest at the bottom, so that the petals alternate,
with liquid glue, and put a piece of wire through the whole for the
stalk; cover it with skiver leather.



[Illustration: No. 14.]

To make the Jessamine, copy the corolla from the annexed design, by
cutting a star-like piece of basil, into which insert the wire for the
stalk as closely as possible. As the stamina are not visible in this
flower, it is needless to make them. The tube upon which the corolla
rests, can be made by rolling a piece of leather round the wire
thickest at the flower, and then add another piece of leather about an
inch below the corolla, which must have five fine pointed leaves for the



[Illustration: No. 15.]

The Daisy is formed by making two pieces of leather, like the pattern,
one larger than the other, and putting the wire, for stalk, through both
of them. The little golden centre of the daisy, can be well imitated by
placing a round piece of leather, rather thick, in the centre, shaved
off at the edges, and marked with the veining tool full of dots.



[Illustration: No. 16.]

A Wild Rose is made by cutting out two pieces of leather, exactly as in
the engraving, putting the wire through two holes made in the centre of
the pieces with a fine bradawl, and pass a piece of wire through the
holes, leaving both ends of the wire at the back to be twisted for the
stalk. To form the stamina, cut fine strips of leather as long again as
the stamina are required to be, and insert them under the eye of the
wire which forms the stalk; then cut the stamina, and pinch them up
into form; the top piece, containing five petals, must be moulded and
curved upward, inclosing the stamina; the bottom piece also, containing
five petals, must be moulded downwards, curving and bending them into

To make a larger Rose, cut out a smaller piece than is shewn in the
engraving, of the same form, also the two in the engraving, and a larger
piece of the same form making four pieces, containing twenty petals;
then proceed as before-mentioned, and a fuller Rose is produced; thus
the character of the flower and the number of petals can be regulated
with comparative ease.

The rose leaves can be moulded at the back by pressing them into the
grape mould with one of the pressing tools.


[Illustration: No. 17.]

The Bracket annexed is out of the usual run of brackets which have
generally been ornamented with leather work. The vine and the
convolvulus pattern are much used with very beautiful effect. We
intended this design to exhibit old oak: it should be stained very dark,
the oak stems being very thick, while the stems of ivy can be formed of
tendrils. To make the oak stems get very thick wire, and have it cut to
the desired lengths, then cover the wires with leather, and bend them to
resemble knarled oak; attach, as naturally as possible, oak leaves and
acorns at the back of the wires, and on the wood work as shewn in the
skeleton bracket in a former part of this work; then attach the ivy
tendrils, leaves, and berries around the oak stems, and the bracket is

We have found it much improves the appearance of any piece of work we
have been ornamenting, to give the whole when completed a slight coat of



[Illustration: No. 18.]

The design for a Watch Stand will illustrate one of the various modes of
ornamenting this kind of work; it is very light, and better than too
much crowding the ornamented parts, which, besides being a waste of
time, would not look so elegant as lighter work.


[Illustration: No. 19.]

Can be made in a variety of ways--the design here exhibited is novel,
and at the same time very useful. The back is made either with wood, or
calf-skin leather; and the leaves forming the rack are also made of the
same material. Calf-skin dries very hard, being treated exactly the same
as the basil leather in the manner of working.



The beautiful design in the accompanying page is made with a round frame
of any width desired, having two rebates, one inside and one outside the
frame--the inside rebate being to admit the picture, and the outside one
to allow of the nailing firmly to the frame the open work, which is to
be made in the following manner:--Take a flat board, an ironing board
will do, lay the frame upon it, and with a black lead pencil or a piece
of chalk, mark the size all round, making allowance for the rebate; then
having ready the stems, work them in and out, so as to form the open
work as in the drawing; when finished, nail it to the frame, and work
stems and tendrils of the vine, hop, passion flower, or any other
beautiful creeping plant, attaching the fruit or flowers in an artistic
manner, and the result will be one of the most elegant frames ever

The open or trellis work of this frame should have stout wire enclosed
in the basil leather, and in order that it may not appear formal, wind
pieces of leather round the naked wire at irregular intervals to
resemble knots, &c. then cover the whole with basil leather,--the stem
and tendrils which are to wind in and out, and are a portion of the
plant, are not to have wire in them.

Fire Screens are generally filled with Berlin wool, or some other fancy
needlework. Those who would prefer to have an entire piece of leather
work can paint landscapes or flowers upon white leather, using the same
medium as is used in body colour painting at the School of Design, mixed
with finely powdered colours.

[Illustration: No. 20.]

[Illustration: No. 21.]

The basket ornamented with rose sprays outside, can be lined inside with
velvet, and little pockets being made in the velvet lining, they become
a very useful article; the outside is stained old oak.

[Illustration: No. 22.]

The running border here displayed can be adapted to ornamenting
cornices, poles, frames, &c.; it is very easy of imitation, and will
well repay the artist.

We shall conclude our designs with the table, which is made in four
pieces, so that one part can be done at a time, and when completed, can
be removed until the whole is completed, when it can be put firmly
together, and forms a solid example of the use and beauty of the
Ornamental Leather Work.

[Illustration: No. 23.]


Acorns can be made in the following manner. Procure some natural
acorn-cups (which are to be found in great quantities in the autumn),
choose such cups only as are perfectly sound; then pierce two holes
through the bottom of the cup, pass a piece of fine wire through the
holes, leaving the two ends long enough to be twisted into a stalk; if
the stalk is to be exposed, it must be covered with skiver and made fast
with Shaw’s liquid glue. The most correctly-formed acorn tops are those
turned in wood, which can be firmly placed in the cup by the aid of the
liquid glue; this completes the fully-formed acorn.


Cherries are made in the same manner as grapes, and the stalk neatly
covered with skiver leather.


Apples and pears can be turned in wood; they may be left bare, or
covered with skiver leather; they look much better covered with skiver,
and are, then, leather work, properly speaking; or fruit may be moulded
in plaster casts with gutta percha.

Carved wood figures may be draped with tolerable success with the skiver
leather, but we have never seen any that looked well enough when
finished to repay the time and trouble.




Simmer 4 oz. of strips of parchment in 8 oz. of water till it is reduced
one-half; skim off any impurities that may arise to the surface, then
strain it through a fine sieve, or cloth, into a basin; leave it till
cold, when it will be firm and clear; when required for use, cut off as
much as you want, and warm it. Use while warm.


Mix, cold, 2 oz. of Australian red gum, 6 oz. of orange shellac, ½
pint spirits of wine; put all into a bottle, and shake it up
occasionally till the gums are dissolved; strain, and it is fit for use.
This is far preferable to the above size, as it is more hardening, dries
quicker, is always ready for use, and is never affected by damp in
change of weather.


Mix, cold, ¾ lb. Australian red gum, ¼ lb. garnet shellac, 1 pint
spirits of wine; put them in a bottle, and shake occasionally, till the
gum is dissolved; strain, and it is fit for use. The above makes a
capital varnish for leather of all kinds, especially for the leather
covers of old books; it preserves them, and gives an appearance almost
equal to new.


Can be made by adding to the above mahogany stain, a small portion of
vegetable black, and shaking it up till well incorporated. To use the
spirit oak stain on larger surfaces we have found it preferable to apply
it in the same manner as a French polish--namely, let all dirt and wax
be perfectly rubbed off with fine glass paper, till quite smooth, then
make a flannel rubber in the form of a printer’s dabber, put a little
stain on the dabber, and put a clean calico rag over it; apply a little
linseed oil, with your finger, to the calico, and commence rubbing over
a small space, in a circular direction (never suffering the rubber to
remain on any part), till you feel it become tacky, then apply a little
more oil, and so on, till the stain on the rubber is exhausted. Should
the stain become too thick to work freely, add a few drops of spirits
of wine, and shake it well together. When you have raised a fine polish
over the surface, let it remain a few hours to harden, then take a clean
bit of calico, and just damp it with spirits of wine, rub it lightly
over the surface in a circular direction, which, repeated two or three
times, will clear off all smears, and leave the most beautiful gloss
ever seen.

In this latter process of finishing off, you must be cautious not to
damp the rag too much, for that would instantly destroy all the polish;
also, to change the rag often, and not suffer it to remain on any part.
For carved work it is only necessary to clean it as before directed, and
apply the stain with a camel’s-hair brush, by a gentle fire, letting it
dry between each application.

The best oak varnish stain is that made with asphaltum; but, as the
manufacturing is attended with great danger, we think it best not to
give the particulars; and it can be procured cheaper than it could be
made in small quantities.


Procure 1 lb. or more of white starch powder, dry it well in an open
dish before the fire, put it on one side to cool, when quite cool, put a
layer of half an inch at the bottom of a small box, observing that the
box also is dry; gather the leaves, if possible, on a fine summer day,
and lay as many leaves gently on the starch powder at the bottom of the
box as can be done without interfering with each other, then sprinkle
starch powder over them, and shake it down so that the powder settles
all round above and below the leaves until they are completely covered,
and about half an inch of the starch powder above them, then put another
layer of leaves, and proceed with the starch powder as before until the
box is filled, then press the top part, quite full of starch powder,
fastening the lid of the box firmly down until the leaves are required.
Ferns and flat leaves can be preserved by placing them between sheets of
blotting paper under a weight.


_The materials necessary for gilding of this kind are_--

  A Gilder’s Knife.
  A ditto Cushion.
  Some Gold Leaf.
  A little Cotton Wool.
  A few Camel’s Hair Pencils.
  One or two Hog’s Hair Tools.
  A Tip.
  Oil Gold Size.
  Fat Oil.
  Drying Oil, and a
  Burnishing Stone.

They cost only a few shillings, and with care last a very long time.

Size the wood work twice over with parchment size, cut all the leaves,
and make the flowers in the usual manner; size them all over twice with
parchment size; nail them down to the frame, and glue them when tacks
would look unsightly: needle points are very useful in this work to
secure it firmly, and cut them short off when the glued parts are
dry--all the flowers and leaves being attached, go over the entire work
again with parchment size very thinly; the parchment size must be used
warm; when the size is dry, mix well in a cup or any clean earthen
vessel about an ounce of oil gold size, and with equal parts of fat oil
and drying oil thin the gold size to the consistence of cream; take a
hog’s-hair tool, and with it brush equally and very thinly all over
every part that can be seen with this prepared gold size, set it on one
side for an hour or two or more, until it has become almost dry, and
just sticks to your fingers when touched: it must now be gilded all
over, and to do this, take a book of gold, handling it quietly, and mind
there is no draft, as a current of air would blow all the gold away:
turn out of the book two or three leaves of gold upon the cushion, and
blow gently upon the centre of each leaf, to make them lay flat on the
cushion; with the gilder’s knife cut the gold leaves into the sizes
required to cover the work, and with the tip of the gilder’s knife take
up the gold from the cushion and lay it all over the frame till it is
covered, pressing the gold down with a large camel hair tool or a piece
of cotton wool, taking care not to rub it backward or forward, but to
put it very straight down on to the work; should there be any holes
left, cut small pieces of gold leaf and lay over them, pressing the gold
down, proceeding in the above manner till the frame is covered all over
with gold; it must then be left to dry an hour or two, and when dry
brush all the loose gold off with a large camel hair or badger’s hair
tool, and the gilding is completed. Leather work gilded by the above
process will bear washing, and is the most durable kind of gilding


Acorns and any wooden part attached to leather work can be burnished,
which adds much to the variety of the work, and is done in the following
manner:--that part of the work intended to be burnished must be prepared
exactly as above, except that instead of using the prepared oil gold
size take the white of an egg and give the work a coat of it, let it
dry, then give it another coat, and when nearly dry see that it lays on
evenly; apply the gold leaf all over; leave it an hour or two to become
hard; then burnish it by rubbing it all over with a burnishing stone or
any very hard and perfectly smooth substance. This burnish gilding is
far more brilliant than the oil gold, but will not wash, and is not so



Bee Hives can be made with leather stems, as follows:--Cut a piece of
wood to the shape and size required; wind and glue upon it the stems,
beginning at the top, and finishing off at the bottom. To join the stems
as you proceed, cut each end to an angle, so that they fit; join them
with liquid glue, and tie a piece of thread round to hold them tightly
together until the glue is dry. When the hive is completed, that portion
of thread left visible can be cut off.

To imitate the tying seen in hives, mark with a pen, or a camel’s hair
pencil, with the darkest stain, lines and dots from top to bottom; cut a
small piece out of the lower tier to make the entrance, and put a little
handle at the top with a piece of stem.

When made as above, on wood, and well glued, they can be sawn in halves,
thus making two. Placed amongst foliage, frames, &c., they are quite in
keeping, and have a pleasing effect.



Use finely powdered colours, and mix them to the consistence of cream,
with the following medium:--Mix the white of an egg with 2 oz. of pure
distilled vinegar; put them into a bottle and shake them well together
whenever you are about to mix any colours with it: or mix the colours
with parchment size warmed; use while warm: or mix them with a weak
solution of gum arabic; and, in either case, varnish them with a quick
drying pale varnish. Oil colours will not do for painting this kind of
materials: any of the above mediums, properly prepared, will answer
well. Gilding may be interspersed with brilliant effect.


The quickest mode of staining the Ornamental Leather Work is as
follows:--Procure a bottle of REVELL’S CHYMICAL OAK COLOUR STAIN. This
preparation will not soil the hands, or the finest linen or woollen
fabrics; will not stain wood or any other substance than the leather to
which it is applied, to which it imparts the perfect appearance of old
oak without any gloss, at the same time hardening the leather without
injuring it.


Having your leaves, &c., cut out and dried, pour some of the contents of
this bottle into a saucer, and apply it copiously with a camel’s hair
brush, all over the leaves, back and front, particularly the edges; bend
them while damp as you wish them to appear upon the finished work, then
dry them rather quickly at a moderate distance from the fire, or in a
current of air; when dry they are ready for use.

The leaves, &c., can be attached to any form of work, and it is
completed. When the entire work is complete, it can be varnished at
pleasure, as follows:--Procure a bottle of REVELL’S OAK SPIRIT STAIN,
and give the entire work an even coat of it; it dries in a few minutes,
and has the appearance of polished oak.


If all the work is to be left dull, give the frame or bracket, &c., a
coat of OAK SPIRIT STAIN, which dries in dull if put upon new wood, not
prepared in any manner. To prepare wooden frames, &c., so that the OAK
SPIRIT STAIN shall assume a polished surface, it is necessary to size
the frame well and leave it to dry; when dry, give it one or more coats

Those who prefer making the OAK SPIRIT STAIN, can do so by referring to
the receipt in this book; it is made with little trouble, and is
composed principally of Australian Red Gum; a new article to most of our
readers; and, although many druggists, &c., have procured it when they
have received orders for it, we are sorry to say, in several instances,
they have said there was no article of that description; or else have
substituted a different kind of gum, perfectly _worthless for this
purpose_; consequently, disappointment has ensued; and in order to
protect the public from being imposed upon, and ourselves the disgrace
of publishing anything not practicable, we are obliged, in self-defence,
to state how we came to use it.

In the month of January, 1852, the publisher was applied to for a
varnish stain that would dry quickly, and at the same time be the colour
required: he was making experiments for this purpose, when, taking up
the TIMES newspaper of Friday, January 23rd, he found, under the heading
of SOCIETY OF ARTS, an epitome of Professor EDWARD SOLLY’s lecture, at
the above Society on the previous Wednesday, on vegetable substances
used in the Arts, &c. Allusions were made to a fine red gum from New
South Wales: he procured the lecture, and then, after a little trouble,
obtained samples; they were tested, and one was found to answer, and he
has now in stock several tons of the proper kind for making the stain,
and can supply it in any quantity.

We will now conclude by directing the student to an attentive observance
of nature: we have avoided, as far as possible, technical terms; where
they are used the illustrations will, in most cases, explain them. The
study of this mode of decoration has often led those who had not before
observed the varied beauties of the floral world to do so with the
greatest pleasure and the happiest results.



Requires no preparation, sets almost immediately, will resist wet,
violence, time, and climate; adheres to any surface or material; cements
china, marble, wood, paper, leather, &c.; is useful to shipbuilders,
carpenters, bookbinders, pianoforte, brush, and toy makers; and is so
easy of application, that ladies and gentlemen may mend their own china,
ornaments, toys, veneers, mouldings, parasols, book-covers, and a
hundred other little articles, with the greatest ease and certainty.

                    =Price 6d. and 1s. per Bottle.=

       *       *       *       *       *



  &c., &c.







  Basil Leather, of the first quality, at 1s. 6d. and 2s. per skin.
  Skiver ditto, ditto, at                 ditto.
  Leather Leaves, 6d. per dozen, or 4s. per gross, assorted.
  Leather Stems and Tendrils, 2d. each.
  Passion Flowers, Roses, &c., from 6d. to 2s. 6d. each.
  Convolvulus and other less elaborate Flowers, from 2d. each.
  Holly and Ivy Berries, 6d. per bundle.
  Acorns, 1s. per dozen.
  Oak Varnish Stain, 1s. per bottle.
  Spirit Oak  ditto, 1s.     „
  Spirit Mahogany ditto, 1s. „
  Revell’s Chymical ditto, which possesses the property of staining the
    leather used for this work, and will not soil the finest linen,
    neither will it stain wood, or any other material than leather. It
    can be applied either cold or warm. Sold, with full directions for
    use accompanying each bottle, price 1s. This being the invention of
    the publisher, purchasers are requested to observe his name and
    address on each seal.
  Stephens’ Wood Stains.
  Stains and Varnishes of every description.
  Saucers for the Oak Stain, &c., 1s. per doz.
  Shaw’s Liquid Glue, without smell, 1s. per bottle.
  Ditto, Old kind, 6d.                      „
  Prepared Stiffening, 1s.                  „
  Veining Tools, 1s. 6d. each.
  Cutting ditto, 1s.      „
  Grape Moulds, 2s. 6d. per set.
  Bradawls, 6d. each.
  Hammers, 1s. 3d. „
  Wire of different sizes.
  Hog’s Hair Brushes, 3d. to 6d. each.
  Camel’s Hair Pencils, from 1d.   „
  And a variety of Brackets, Frames, &c., for Ornamenting.






=Oil Colours in Patent Collapsible Tubes,=

_Of various sizes, and in Extra Fine Powder._

  Cremnitz White
  Flake White
  Nottingham White
  Ultramarine Ashes
  Royal Smalt
  French Ultramarine
  Permanent Blue
  Antwerp Blue
  Prussian Blue
  Yellow Ochre
  Indian Yellow
  Chrome, 1, 2, 3
  Italian Pink
  Yellow Lake
  King’s Yellow
  Lemon Yellow, 1, 2
  Dutch Pink
  Naples Yellow
  Purple Lake
  Indian Lake
  Crimson Lake
  Scarlet Lake
  Chinese Vermillion
  Orange Vermillion
  Red Chrome
  Madder Lake
  Rose Madder
  Pink Madder
  Purple Madder
  Light Red
  Venetian Red
  Indian Red, 1, 2
  Brown Red
  Raw Sienna
  Burnt Sienna
  Brown Ochre
  Burnt Brown Ochre
  Roman Ochre
  Burnt Roman Ochre
  Vandyke Brown
  Raw Umber
  Burnt Umber
  Brown Pink
  Madder Brown
  Cologne Earth
  Bone Brown
  Cappa Brown
  Emerald Green
  Terra Vert
  Chrome Green, 1, 2, 3
  Oxyde of Chromium
  Ivory Black
  Blue Black
  Lamp Black
  Sugar of Lead

=Sable Hair Pencils.=

_For Oil or Water_.

  Large Goose, Brown or Red
  Small ditto      ditto
  Duck             ditto
  Crow             ditto
  Small Swan
  Large ditto
  Lining or Rigging
  Writing and Striping

=French Sables.=


_Red or Brown._

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

=Sables for Oil.=

_Round & Flat._

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

=French Brushes.=

_Flat & Round._

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

=Camel Hair Pencils=,

_All Sizes, Long and Short_.

=Camel Hair Brushes=,

_In Flat Tins_.

   ½  inch
   ¾   „
  1    „
  1¼   „
  1½   „
  1¾   „
  2    „
  2½   „
  3    „
  4    „

=Camel Hair Brushes=,

_In Round Tins_.

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

=Pencil Sticks.=

Cedar, Ebony, Ivory, 6, 12 & 15 in.

=Badger Softeners.=

_Round & Flat._

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.

=Palette Knives.=

  Horn and Ivory
  Steel, with Horn or Bone Handles
    Do.       Ivory Handles
    Do. Spatula Shape, Horn Handles
    Do.  ditto         Ivory  do.

=Port Crayons.=

Steel, Albata, and Brass.

=Brush Washers for Turpentine.=

Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4.

=Oils and Varnish.=

  Spirits Turpentine
  Cold Drawn Linseed Oil
  Nut and Poppy Oil
  Drying Oil, pale or strong
  Fat Oil
  Japan Gold Size
  Mastic Varnish
  Copal Varnish
  White Hard Spirit Varnish

=Extra Fine Cake and Moist Water Colours=,


  Permanent White
  Constant White
  Flake White
  Chinese White

  Ultramarine Ashes
  Azure Blue
  Royal Smalt
  French Ultramarine
  Permanent Blue
  Antwerp Blue
  Prussian Blue
  Intense Blue
  French Blue

  Yellow Ochre
  Indian Yellow
  Platina Yellow
  Gall Stone
  Lemon Yellow
  Chrome, 1, 2, 3
  Italian Pink
  Dutch Pink
  Yellow Lake
  Mars Yellow
  King’s Yellow
  Naples Yellow
  Patent Yellow

  Orange Orpiment
  Orange Red
  Mars Orange
  Orange Vermillion
  Crimson Lake
  Scarlet Lake
  Dark Lake
  Indian Lake
  Extract Vermillion
  Scarlet Vermillion
  Burnt Carmine
  Dragon’s Blood
  Madder Lake
  Rose Madder
  Pink Madder
  Pure Scarlet
  Dahlia Carmine
  Indian Red
  Light Red
  Venetian Red
  Brown Red
  Red Orpiment
  Red Chalk
  Red Chrome
  Deep Rose

  Raw Sienna
  Burnt Sienna
  Brown Ochre
  Roman Ochre
  Burnt Roman Ochre
  Vandyke Brown
  Verona Brown, 1, 2, 3
  Warm Sepia
  Roman Sepia
  Raw Umber
  Burnt Umber
  Brown Pink
  Madder Brown
  Cologne Earth
  Bone Brown
  Reuben’s Brown
  Mars Brown
  Intense Brown
  Cappa Brown
  Chalons Brown

  Payne’s Grey
  Neutral Tint

  Indian Purple
  Purple Madder
  Purple Lake

  Sap Green
  Emerald Green
  Prussian Green
  Chrome Green, 1, 2, 3
  Oxyde of Chrome
  Barber’s Green
  Sea Green
  Dark Green
  Hooker’s Green, 1, 2
  Olive Green
  Terra Vert
  Green Bice

  Lamp Black
  Ivory Black
  Blue Black
  British Ink
  Inlaying Black

=Gold and Silver Shells.=

=Indelible, and Bright’s Landscape Crayons.=

Singly or in Sets.

=Chalks, Crayons.=

  Italian Black Chalk
  Ditto Red and White
  Soft French Black
  Black Square Conté Crayons
  Ditto, Round, plain ditto
  Ditto, Glazed       ditto
  Velours, (very Soft and Black)
  Round and Square Red Conté

=Lead Pencils=,

_Extra Prepared_.

  H. Hard, for Sketching
  H.H. Harder, for Outlines, &c.
  H.H.H. Very Hard, for Architectural Drawing, &c.
  H.B. Hard and Black
  E.H.B. Extra Hard and Black
  B. Black for Shading
  B.B. Soft and Black
  E.B.B. Extra Soft and Black
  F. Fine for General Drawing


  Palettes and Saucers
  Cabinet Saucers in Morocco Case


  Drawing Pins
  Indian Ink
  Indian Rubber
  Indian Glue
  Ox Gall
  Lithograph Chalk
  Gilder’s Knives, Tips and Cushions
  Poonah Brushes
  Burnish Gold Size
  Oil     ditto
  Gold Leaf
  Mezzotint Brushes
  Permanent Ink
  Velvet Scrubs
  Picture Frames
  Sealing Wax and Wafers
  Pink Saucers
  Slate Pencils
  Tracing Points
  Burnishing Stones
  Graining Combs and Tools

=Revell’s Permanent Brown Ink=,


_Price 1s. per Bottle._

Pen and Ink Drawings can be made with this Ink, they have all the
appearance of the so-called Poker Paintings, (viz. Drawings upon Wood,
executed with one or more red hot wires.) The Ink is permanent, and will
be found advantageous as an adjunct to the Ornamental Leather Work.

=Unprepared Colours of the First Quality.=

_Colours of every description for House Painting, Park Fencing, &c._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Note:

Punctuation has been standardised.

  The following inconsistencies were normalised:
    3 instances of ‘color’ were changed to ‘colour’
    7 instances of ‘convolvolus’ were changed to ‘convolvulus’
    6 instances of ‘tendrill’ were changed to ‘tendril’
    illustrations were renumbered from figure No. 14 onward
      (some numbers were out of order/duplicates)

  A few additional original typos were repaired, as follows:
    Page xii:  changed trailled to trailed
               (being trailed round a)
    Page 34:   changed FUSCHIA to FUCHSIA
    Page 35:   changed fuschia to fuchsia
               (put the fuchsia together)
    Page 35:   changed mnst to must
               (they must be moulded)
    Page 38:   changed viened to veined
               (wetted and veined, then)
    Page 41:   changed Fig. to No.
               ([Illustration: No. 8.])
    Page 50:   changed camillia to camilla
               (make a camilla, cut)
    Page 82:   changed of to or
               (with the tip of the)
    Page 88:   changed qucikest to quickest
               (The quickest mode of)
    Page 93:   changed CLUE to GLUE
               (SHAW’S LIQUID GLUE)

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