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Title: A manual of Mending and Repairing with diagrams
Author: Leland, Charles Godfrey
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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  INTRODUCTION      vii-xxiii

  MATERIALS USED IN MENDING                                  1-11

  TERRA-COTTA, BRICK AND TILE WORK                          12-32

  APPROVED CEMENTS--SILICATE OF SODA                        33-49

  PANEL PICTURES WITH SHAVINGS                              50-57

  REPAIRING WOODWORK                                        58-85

  BOOK-WORMS                                               86-120


  OR CROCKERY MOSAIC                                      134-142

  REPAIRING IVORY                                         143-155

  FRAGMENTS TO A SINGLE BODY                              156-158

  OTHER APPLICATIONS                                      159-168

  FIREPROOF CEMENTS, WITH IRON BINDERS                    169-182

  SHOES                                                   183-198

  FELTING                                                 199-201


  MENDING MOTHER-OF-PEARL AND CORAL                       206-209

  RESTORING AND REPAIRING PICTURES                        210-230

  GENERAL RECIPES                                         231-253

  INDEX                                                   255-264


The author of this work modestly trusts that all who read it with
care will admit that in it he has distinctly shown that mending or
repairing, which has hitherto been regarded as a mere adjunct to other
arts, is really an art by itself, if not a science, since it is based
on chemical and other principles, which admit of extensive application
and general combination. It has its _laws_--a fact which has never been
hinted at by any writer, since all recipes for restoration in existence
are each singly inventions made to suit certain cases. This work has
been conceived on a different principle.

A thorough knowledge of this art of repairing, mending, or restoring
various objects is of very great value, since there is no household
in which it is not often called into requisition. In the kitchen or
drawing-room, in the library and nursery, there are daily breakages,
of which a large and needless proportion are losses, simply because
such a man as a general mender, who is accomplished in _all_ branches
of the art, does not exist. And, what is more, it is equally true that
no one has ever realised to what a vast extent mending and saving may
be carried, with a little expenditure of time, practice, and money,
by any intelligent person who will devote serious attention to it.
Within a comparatively few years discoveries in science or in nature
have enlarged the ability of the mender to an extraordinary extent--I
need only mention the applications now made with silicate of soda,
celluloid, gutta percha, and glycerine to confirm what I say--so
largely, indeed, that only the accomplished technologist and chemist
is really aware of what can be done in general repairing compared to
what was possible only a few years ago. I believe that there are few
thoroughly practical persons (and, I may add, few who take an interest
in art in any form, or even in books) who will read this work without
deep interest, and without acquiring information of such value that in
comparison to it the cost of the book will seem a trifle.

Though mending or restoring is a subject which in some form comes
home to and concerns everybody, and which it is assuredly everybody’s
interest to understand, this is, I believe, the first book in which
its application to a _great_ variety of wants has been made, and that
in such a clearly co-ordinated manner, and according to such a simple
principle, that whoever reads it can have no difficulty in mending any
object, even though it be not described here. In all works of the kind
which I have seen the recipes for repairing have been given simply
according to their _subjects_, without any view to general principles
of application, and a great proportion of these were in turn simply
copied from old books of miscellaneous “receipts,” or newspapers in
which every so-called new discovery is announced as infallible, or
as if it had been tried and tested to perfection. That I have not
recklessly accumulated in this fashion all kinds of _recipes_ to fill
my pages will appear very plainly to every chemist or technologist,
who will perceive that, proceeding from a comprehensive table of
generally recognised and long-tested bases of cements, I have given
deductions and combinations scientifically agreeing with their laws and
with experiment. The true object of giving a great number of recipes
has not been solely or simply to supply the house-keeper or mechanic
with instructions for certain repairs, but also to suggest to the
technologist and inventor new ideas and applications. Thus, when we
know that given proportions of zinc in powder, silicate of soda, and
chalk form a strong cement, resembling zinc, it is as well to suggest
that this may be varied by employing other metals and substances, such
as bronze-powders and mineral oxides, to be always preceded by a little
experiment. I venture to say that any intelligent person who masters
this work can, on this hint, make for himself innumerable inventions;
and I am sure that there is not the editor of a single technological
journal who will not testify to the fact that every year a great many
patents are taken out and fortunes made from recipes which are neither
so scientifically combined nor practically useful as those which I here
give. That there are fortunes still to be made is abundantly proved by
the fact that there are very few people, comparatively speaking, who
know where to get or how to make waterproof glue, or how to mend with
it, neatly and durably, shoes, umbrellas, and many rents in garments;
how to unite a broken strap; mend, by felting, torn hats; rehabilitate
perfectly worm-eaten and torn-away paper; restore decayed broken wood;
or mend, in fact, anything except with common glue or mucilage--both
of which soon give way and crack or melt. So long as such general
ignorance prevails, just so long there will be an opportunity for
the inventor to make and sell cements, and for the repairer to find

I call special attention to the fact that this book contains no merely
traditional, untested recipes which have been simply transferred from
one Housekeeper’s Manual to another for generations. Where I have not
been guided by my own personal experience--which is, I venture to say,
not very limited--I have either followed truly scientific works, such
as the three hundred volumes of the Chemical-Technical Library of A.
HARTLEBEN; or, when citing from older authors, have invariably given
recipes which agree with the principles advanced by modern analysts and
inventors. And though not a professor of chemistry, yet, as I studied
it and natural philosophy in my youth under LEOPOLD GMELIN, L. PASSELT,
and Professor JOSEPH HENRY, I trust that I have been sufficiently
qualified to avoid errors in what I have written. In short, that I
have _not_ recklessly accumulated every recipe which I could find, and
that what I give are really trustworthy, will appear plainly to the
chemist or technologist, who will perceive that, proceeding from a
given table of generally recognised and long-tested bases of cements,
&c., I have then given deductions and combinations scientifically
agreeing with their laws and with experiment. My book is not a _pièce
de manufacture_, or of hack-work, but one which is the result of
many years of practical experience in the minor arts and industries,
on which subject alone I have published twenty-two works, without
including pamphlets, lectures, and at least one hundred letters or
articles in leading magazines and newspapers. There is, in short, very
little mending or making described in this book which I have not at one
time or other personally effected, having had all my life a passion for
mending and restoring all kinds of objects, and that scientifically and

As I have observed, there is in every household continual breakage
of many kinds--“or of the rending which cries for mending”--it is
a matter of some importance that some one in the family should pay
special attention to such matters. How often have I seen very valuable
objects stuck together--anyhow and clumsily--with putty, wafers,
sealing-wax, glue, flour-paste, or anything which will “hold” for a
time, when a perfect cure might have just as well been effected had the
proper recipe been taken to the first chemist. This is equally true as
regards taking ink or stains out of garments, or repairing the latter
perfectly, or mending shoes or indiarubber cloth, or felting worn hats
and many other articles, all of which are treated of in this work.

It is true that everybody is not naturally ingenious, or clever, or
gifted, but all may become _skilful menders_ if they will duly consider
the subject (which requires no hard study) and experiment on it a
little. And here I would seriously address a few words to all who are
interested in education. There is a certain faculty which may be called
constructiveness, which is nearly allied to invention, and which is
a marvellous developer in all children of quickness of perception,
thought, or intellect. It is the art of using the fingers to make or
manipulate, in any way; it exists in every human being, and it may
be brought out to an extraordinary degree in the young, as has been
fully tested and proved. Now, if we take two children of the same age,
sex, and capacity, both going to the same school and pursuing the same
studies, and if one of the two devotes from two to four hours a week
to an industrial art class (_i.e._, studying simple original _design_,
easy wood-carving, repoussé, embroidery, &c.), it will be found--as it
has been by very extensive experiment--that the latter child will at
the end of the year excel the former in _all_ branches of learning;
that is to say, in arithmetic or geography, so greatly does ingenuity
proceed from the fingers to the brain. Now, mending is so nearly allied
to all the minor or mechanical arts, it enters into them so closely,
that it in a manner belongs to and is an introduction to them all.
Like them, it stimulates invention or ingenuity, and is perhaps of far
greater practical utility or direct use. Boys and girls learn very
willingly how to mend, and, from a long experience in teaching them,
I should say that a class with experiments and practical instruction
in what is given in this book should take precedence of all carpentry,
metal-work, joining, leather-work, or any other branches whatever. For
it is _easier_ than any of them, and it is of far more general utility,
as the following pages clearly show. Such teaching would cost next to
nothing for outfit, and would be the best introduction to technical
education of all kinds.

There is an immense amount of breakage in this world, yet, as a French
writer on the subject observes, there are more great artists than good
_menders_; the latter being so extremely rare that proofs of it are
seen in bungling restorations in every museum in Europe, and in the
almost impossibility of finding (out of Italy) men who can perfectly
mend first-class ceramic ware. We see this ignorance in reproductions
of delicate ivory ware coarsely cast in gypsum, and in a vast rejection
and destruction of antiquities in wood, stone, or ceramic ware, simply
because they are most ignorantly supposed to be beyond repair when they
might, with _proper knowledge_, be very easily and cheaply restored,
to great profit. And if the reader will visit the “dead rooms” of
any museum in Europe and then study this book, he will find ample
confirmation of what I say.

And here I would mention that every collector or owner of any kind of
works of art, of _bric-à-brac_, or curiosities, who will master the art
of mending, can find an illimitable field for picking up bargains in
almost every shop of antiquities in Europe, especially in the smaller
or humbler kind. For it is very far from being true that these dealers
know “how to mend everything;” on the contrary, I have often found
them very ignorant indeed of mending, and have frequently instructed
them in it. Thus I now have before me a “Holy Family” of the early
sixteenth century, bas-relief in stamped leather, twelve inches by
eight, for which I paid two francs, but which I might have had for
one, it being utterly dilapidated, and apparently of no value. In two
or three hours I restored it perfectly, and it would now sell for
perhaps a hundred francs. By it hangs a “Madonna and Child,” painted
on a panel, gold ground, fourteenth century, which, including a very
broad and remarkable old frame, I purchased both for twelve francs.
The panel was warped like a sabre, [Illustration], the colour and
_gesso_ ground badly scaled away in many places. It was split in two
pieces; in short, it appeared to be nearly worthless. Now it is in very
good condition, and would be an ornament to any gallery. As regards
repairing ceramic ware or china, glass, and porcelain, art has of late
years made remarkable advances, this kind of mending being the most in
requisition. As for old carved wood, no matter how badly broken it may
be, eaten away by worms, or rotten, or even wanting large pieces, so
long as its original form is evident, it can be _very easily_ repaired
or restored to all its original beauty and integrity, as I shall
fully explain. In this alone there is a vast field for investment or
money-making, because there are annually destroyed almost everywhere
quantities of old wood-carvings; for, being badly worm-eaten, they are
ignorantly supposed to be irreparable. The same may be said of ancient
carved ivories, which are ready to drop at a touch into dust, as were
those from Nineveh in the British Museum, yet which are now firm and
clear. It is also true of the bindings of old books, many of marvellous
beauty, whether of stamped leather, parchment, or carved. Even more
interesting and curious is the repairing or restoring worm-eaten
manuscripts or papers of any kind, or parchment, the easy process of
filling the holes not being known to many bibliophiles. This art is
becoming known in Germany, where it is not unusual to buy an old book
for a mark, rebind it in hard old parchment, repair it generally for
two or three, and then sell it, according to the subject, for several
hundred or thousand per cent. profit.

It is greatly to be regretted that it is so little known, especially
in England, that to repair a few holes or restore a little broken,
crumbling carving it is not absolutely necessary to tear down an entire
Gothic church and build a new one, as is so very generally the case.
There is no stone-work, however dilapidated it may be, which cannot be
mended very perfectly, and that in almost all cases with a material
which sets even harder than the original, as was perfectly shown at the
Paris Exhibition of 1889. Dilapidated stone carved work, of all ages
and kinds, which could be perfectly restored to a degree which even
very few artists suspect, abounds in Italy, where it can be purchased
for a song. The song, it is true, is generally sung to a small silver
accompaniment, but the purchaser may make it golden for himself. For
very few know how to restore a knocked-off nose so that the line of
juncture be not visible; yet even this is possible, as I shall show.
And I may here remark that in all the first galleries and museums of
Europe, without one exception, there is abundant evidence to prove
that, of all the arts, the one of repairing and restoring is the one
least understood and most strangely neglected.

There is hardly a village so small that one man or woman could not make
in it or eke out a living by repairing different objects. In towns and
cities the demand for such work is much greater, for there ladies break
expensive fans and jewellery, and children their dolls and toys, for
mending of which the “rehabilitators” require “much moneys,” especially
in the United States, where prices for anything out of the way are

I would therefore beg all people who are gifted with some small
allowance of “ingenuity,” tact, art, or common-sense to consider that
Mending or Restoring is a calling very easily learned by a little
practice, and one by which a living can be made, even in its humblest
branches, as is shown by the umbrella-menders and chair-caners in the
streets. But common-sense teaches that any one who shall have mastered
all that is explicitly set forth in this book ought certainly to be
able to gain money, even largely; for, as I said, the opportunities
of purchasing dilapidated works of art, mending and selling them,
are innumerable, and Restoration is as yet everywhere in its mere
rudiments and very little practised. That which might be a very great
general industry of vast utility, employing many thousands now idle,
only exists in a hap-hazard, casual way, as dependent on other kinds
of work. But to me it appears as a great art by itself, dependent on
certain principles of general application. And when we consider what
is generally wasted for want of proper knowledge of this great art, it
seems to me to be but rational that if we had in London a school for
teaching mending and restoring in all its branches as a trade, with a
museum to show the public, probably to its great astonishment, what
marvels can be wrought by renewing what is old, it would be of great
service to the country at large. A very little reflection will convince
the least visionary or most practical reader that what is wasted or
annually destroyed of valuable old works, which cannot be replaced,
because they are no longer manufactured, if restored, would form the
basis of a great national industry. It has not as yet, however, entered
into the head of any one to conceive this, simply because no one has
ever been educated as a general restorer, but only in a secondary,
supplementary, small way as a specialist, generally as a botcher. And
I maintain, from no inconsiderable knowledge of the subject, that
the best menders and restorers by far are those who understand the
most branches of their calling. The reason for this is plain; it is
because a repairer, when he comes to some unforeseen difficulty--for
example, in mending china--and finds the cements used are not exactly
applicable, he will, if sensible, think of some other adhesive used in
other kinds of work, or other combinations or appliances.

I go so far as to say that an exhibition of specimens showing all that
can be done in mending and restoration in ceramic art, leather, carved
stone, books, carved and wrought wood, castings, metal, furniture,
fans, and toys, would probably serve as sufficient beginning to
establish classes and a school. The objects should, when possible, be
accompanied by a duplicate or photograph showing the condition they
were in before restoration, on the principle of the picture-cleaners,
who amaze the public with such startling contrasts of dirt and

How this can all be done will be found in this book, which I venture
to suggest will often be found useful in every family, or wherever
“things” are broken and worn. For the collector of curiosities who
would willingly pick up bargains, I seriously and earnestly commend it
as a _vade mecum_ by means of which he may literally make money in any
shop. For, as I have already said, strange as it may seem, the small
dealers in _bric-à-brac_ are generally very ignorant of all the curious
secrets of restoration, or else they have no time or means to attend to
such work. Again, if the collector has learned what I here teach, he
will often detect restoration allied to forgery in expensive antiques,
guaranteed to be perfect. It has been well observed by M. RIS-PAQUOT,
in his valuable work, _L’Art de restaurer soi-même les Faïences et
Porcelaines_, that it often happens, most unfortunately, that precious
relics whose value is immense, such as the Italian _faïences_ and those
of Palissy or Henri II., come to collections in such a condition, so
pitifully injured, that _de visu_ we cannot buy them because we know
of nobody who can actually restore them, and because this delicate
work requires so much special knowledge. Add to this, that their
great value and rarity disincline us to trust to the first-comer, or
general workman, treasures which he might utterly ruin by clumsiness or

I may add that I seldom walk out in Florence without seeing old worn
_faïences_ for sale for a mere trifle which with a little retouching,
gilding, and firing could be made quite valuable. In such instances
there need be no complaint of destroying the venerable effect and value
of antiquity. In them antique material may be legitimately employed as
a basis for newer work, especially when it is broken away, worn down
to the core, or full of holes. Now, with what this book teaches in his
mind, the artist or tourist will very soon realise, if he be at all
ingenious, or can avail himself of the aid of some friend who has even
a very slight knowledge of art, that he can at a slight outlay purchase
objects which will become very valuable when afterwards restored at

As I can imagine no head of a family, and no dealer in miscellaneous
works of art or any small wares, no provider of furniture or furnisher,
to whom this work will not be a most acceptable gift, so I am very
confident that every traveller who has trunks to mend or broken straps
to join, and every emigrant roughing it in the forests or the bush
of Australia or Canada, may learn from it many useful devices, and
the fact that with nothing more than a small tin of liquid glue and
another of indiarubber he can effect more than could be imagined by
any one who has not studied the subject. On this I speak not without
experience, having found that, both as a soldier and a traveller in the
Wild West of America, my knowledge of mending was of great use to my
friends as well as myself. A perusal of the Index of what is here given
will satisfy the reader that this manual is in fact a _vade mecum_ for
almost all sorts and conditions of men and women, and that there are
none who would not be thankful for it.

A friend adds to these remarks the suggestion that this work may
properly be included among the presents to a bride as an aid to
housekeeping; and it will probably be admitted that it would prove
quite as useful as many of the gifts which are usually bestowed on such

I have truly said that, while breaking and decay are universal, there
are literally nowhere any generally accomplished repairers--that is to
say, experts who know and can practise even what is set forth in this
book. Certain menders of broken china there are, of whom the great
authority on fictile restoration, RIS-PASQUOT, declares that none
can be trusted with anything valuable. There are so few needle-women
who can sew up a rent perfectly that a lady “to the manor born” paid
in Rome _two pounds_, or _fifty lire_, for being taught the stitch,
described in this book, by which it can be done. That it was a great
secret to an expert and accomplished needle-woman proves that it
cannot be generally known. A house-furnisher in London doing a large
business once explained to me with manifest pride how he had, by dint
of persuasion and treating, obtained from another what is really one
of the simplest recipes for restoring a brown stain. All of this being
true, it is apparent enough that any accomplished mender and restorer,
lady or gentleman, can hardly fail to make a living by the art; and I
sincerely believe that it is the simple truth that it is set forth in
the following pages so fully and clearly that any one who will make the
experiment can learn from it how to make a living. This is effectively,
in all its fulness, a new art and a new calling, and it is time that it
were established.

It is a great mistake to suppose that manufacturers are necessarily
good menders of what they make. I have found, as have my readers,
that it is not the great watchmaker who oversees the production of
thousands of watches to whom a watch can be most safely trusted for
rehabilitation. For, in nine cases out of ten, it is some extremely
humble brother of the craft, who does nothing but mend in a small
shop, who restores your chronometer most admirably. The same is true
as regards trunks anywhere out of England, since in Germany and France
anything of the kind is invariably botched with incredible want of
skill. This runs through most trades; for which reason I believe that
a really well-accomplished general _mender_, earnestly devoted to the
calling in every detail and resolved to be perfect in it, could ere
long repair better than most manufacturers, since the latter, in these
days, all work by machinery or by vast subdivision of labour, and not,
so to speak, by hand. But all repairing _must_ be by hand. We can make
every detail of a watch or of a gun by machinery, but the machine
cannot mend it when broken, much less a clock or a pistol!

The value of this book will appear to any one who knows how little
really good repairing there is in Europe. Since writing the foregoing
pages I have gone through the galleries of the Vatican and many other
museums, and been amazed at the coarse, ignorant, and bungling manner
in which the _great majority_ of antique statues and other objects of
immense value have been mended up. There is in most cases no pretence
whatever to conceal the lines of repair, and when this has been
attempted it has failed through ignorance of recipes and instructions
which may be found in this work.




    “_There are full many admirable and practical recipes_
    (Hausmitteln), _which are often known only in certain
    families_.”--Die Natürliche Magie. By JOHANN C. WIEGLEB, 1782.

The art of mending or of repairing may be broadly stated as being
effected, firstly, by mechanical processes, such as those employed by
carpenters in nailing and joining, in embroidery with the needle, and
in metal-work with clumps, or soldering; and, secondly, by chemical
means. The latter consist of _cements_ and _adhesives_, which are,
however, effectively the same thing. This glue, or gum, is an adhesive
or _sticker_; that is, a simple substance which causes two objects to
adhere. The same, when combined with powder of chalk or glass, would
be a CEMENT. This latter term is again applied somewhat generally and
loosely by many, not only to all adhesives, but also more correctly to
all soft substances which harden, such as Portland cement, mortar, and
putty, and which are often used by themselves to form objects, such
as “bricks” and castings; but these latter, having also the quality of
acting as adhesives or stickers, are naturally regarded as being the

As will be speedily observed in the great number of recipes for
mending which will be given in this book, there are many which occur
frequently in different combinations; therefore it will be advisable
and indispensable for those who wish to master mending as an art to
indicate these as a basis.

As SIGMUND LEHNER has observed in his valuable work on _Die Kitte- und
Klebemittel_, there have been such vast numbers of recipes published
of late years for adhesives in various technological works, that the
combination of the usual materials depends almost on the judgment of
the experimenter, and every practical operator will soon learn to make
inventions of his own. These materials, according to STOHMANN, may be
classified as follows:--

    I. Those in which OIL is the basis.
   II. Resin or pitch.
  III. Caoutchouc (indiarubber) or gutta-percha.
   IV. Gum or starch.
    V. Lime and chalk.

LEHNER extends the list as follows into adhesives, or cements:--

    I. For glass and porcelain in every form.

   II. For metals not exposed to changes of temperature.

  III. For stoves and furnaces, or objects exposed to

   IV. For chemical apparatus and objects exposed to
  corrosive liquids.

    V. Luting or cements, to protect glass or porcelain
  vessels from the action of fire.

   VI. Cements for microscopic preparations, for filling
  teeth and similar work.

  VII. Those for special objects, such as are made of
  tortoise-shell, meerschaum (ivory), &c.

OILS are divided into those (such as olive) which never become hard,
and the linseed, which in time dries into a substance like gum. The
latter combined with a great variety of mineral substances, such as
plumbago, calcined lime, magnesia, chalk, red oxide of iron, soapstone,
or with varnishes, forms insoluble “soaps,” which, as cements, resist
water. They require a long time to _set_ or become hard.

RESINS and GUMS include a great number of substances, such as resin or
hard pitch, which is distilled from pine-trees; shellac, mastic, elemi,
copal, kauri gum, amber, gum arabic, dextrine made from flour, the gum
of the peach and cherry, and of many other trees. To these may be added
frankincense and tragacanth, which is less an adhesive than a stiffener
and dresser. Gums are generally rather brittle; this is remedied by
combination with oily substances, volatile oils, or caoutchouc. With
these gums LEHNER includes asphaltum. The defect of such adhesives is,
as he also remarks, that they will not resist _high_ temperatures.
This, however, will apply to most objects.

VARNISH.--This belongs properly to the gums, but is technically
regarded as a separate material. It is gum in solution in turpentine or
spirits. For details vide _Die Fabrikation der Copal- Terpentinöl und
Spiritus-Lacke_, by L. E. Andés; Leipzig, price 5 m. 40 pf.

CAOUTCHOUC and GUTTA-PERCHA are gums which when hard are still elastic,
and resist the action of water. I have read that a perfect imitation or
substitute for them has been made of turpentine, but have not seen it,
though I have met with glue made with oil and turpentine, which very
much resembled them in elasticity or flexibility. Reduced to a liquid
form with ether, benzine, &c., these gums can be kept in a liquid state
for a long time, and then hardened in any form by exposure to the air.
They enter into a very great variety of cements, such as are meant to
be tough or waterproof. Indiarubber is, on the whole, the best, and
gutta-percha the cheapest, for cements.

GLUE.--This is made, by boiling, from horns and bones; it is
essentially the same as gelatine. It is the most generally known of all
adhesives, and may be modified by certain admixtures to suit almost
any substance. It has the peculiarity that it must always be boiled in
a _balneum mariæ_, or in a kettle in hot water in another kettle. Its
strength is vastly increased by admixture with nitric acid or _strong_
vinegar. On the subject of glue in all its relations, the reader may
consult _Die Leim- und Gelatine-Fabrikation_, or “The Manufacture of
Glue and Gelatine,” by F. Dawidowsky; Vienna, price 3s.

FLOUR-PASTE AND STARCH-PASTE.--These mixtures, though generally
used for weak work, such as to make papers adhere, can be very much
strengthened by admixture with glue and gums. Combined with certain
substances, such as paper, mineral powders, and _alum_, they, when
submitted to pressure, become intensely hard, and resist not only water
but heat, when not excessive. Also combined with varnishes they are
decided resistants. LEHNER speaks of them as if they were perishable in
any condition.

STURGEON’S BLADDER.--With this the bladders of several kinds of fish
are classed. Cut in small pieces and dissolved in spirits it makes a
very strong adhesive, which is mixed with many others.

LIME is the most extensively used cement in the world. Combined
with water it forms mortar. It is united with many substances, such
as caseine or cheese, the white of eggs, and silicate of soda, to
make powerful minor cements. On the subject of lime the practical
technologist should consult _Kalk und Luftmortel_, by Dr. Herrmann
Zwick; Vienna, A. Hartleben, price 3s., in which all details of the
subject are given in full.

EGGS.--The yolk, and more particularly the white, of eggs is sometimes
used as an adhesive, and it enters into many very excellent cements.
For details as to the chemistry and technology of this material consult
_Die Fabrikationen von Albumin- und Eierkonserven_ (A Full Account of
the Characteristics of all Egg Substances, the Fabrication of Egg, and
Blood Albumen, &c.), by Karl Ruprecht; Vienna, A. Hartleben, price 2s.

easily soluble in water, and many which are, from common dust or earth,
or clay, sand, chalk, powdered egg-shells, sawdust, shell-powder, &c.,
when combined with certain adhesives, form cements. This is sometimes
due to chemical combination, but more frequently to mechanical union.
In the latter case the adhesive clinging to every separate grain has
the more points of adhesion, just as a man by clinging with both hands
to two posts is harder to remove than if he held by one.

CASEINE OR CHEESE.--This in several forms, but chiefly of curd in
combination with several substances, but mostly with lime or borax,
forms a very valuable cement. It is also combined with strong _lye_ and
silicate of soda. It must not, however, be too much depended on as a
resistant to water or heat.

BLOOD, generally of oxen or cows, combined with lime, alum, and coal
ashes, forms a solid and durable cement.

GLYCERINE forms the basis, with plumbago, &c., of several cements.
Like oil, it renders glue flexible and partly waterproof. For chemical
details on this subject, vide _Das Glycerin_, by J. W. Koppe, Leipzig.

GYPSUM is combined with many substances to form cements, some of them
of great and peculiar value.

IRON pulverised is the basis of a great number of very durable and
strongly resistant cements.

ALUM may be included among the bases, as it is very important in
several compositions, forming a powerful chemical aid. It is excellent
as aiding resistance to both moisture and heat. For an exhaustive
work on alum consult _Die Fabrikation des Alauns_, &c., by Frederic
Junemann, which should be carefully studied by all who work in cements.

There is a very great number of “indifferent” or minor aids to these,
such as sugar, milk, honey, spirits of wine, water, ochre, galbanum,
tannin, ammonia, feldspar, plumbago, sulphur, vinegar, salt, zinc
(white), umber, bismuth, tin, cadmium, clay, ashes, &c., which are
essential in certain combinations.

DEXTRINE, the gum of flour or starch, or _Leiokom_, much resembles
gum-arabic, but is more brittle. Its adhesiveness depends somewhat on
the manner in which it is dissolved. “It is,” says LEHNER, “prepared
by heating starch which has been moistened with nitric acid; also by
warming paste with very much diluted sulphuric acid.”

WAX, including that of bees as well as paraffine, is used in repairs,
and forms a part of several cements. On this subject consult _Das
Wachs_, or “Wax and its Technical Applications,” by Ludwig Sedna;
Leipzig, 2s. 6d.

SILICATE OF SODA, OR LIQUID GLASS.--This is generally sold in the form
of a very dense liquid. It is prepared by mixing quartz or flint sand
with soda, or more rarely with potash. “It is,” says LEHNER, “a glass
which is distinguished from other glasses by being easily soluble
in water. It is believed to be a very modern invention; but I have
seen Venetian glasses of the fifteenth century which appeared to be
painted with it, or something very similar; and I have found decided
indications of a knowledge of it in two writers of the sixteenth
century, WOLFGANG HILDEBRAND and VAN HELMONT. According to Wagner,
there are three kinds of liquid glass. By itself liquid glass can only
be used for mending glass; but when combined with other substances,
such as cement, calcined lime, or clay, or glass, in powder, it forms
a body as hard as stone, or a double silicate, which is strongly
resistant to chemical influences.” It occupies the first position as
an adhesive for glass, nor is it surpassed as a cement in solid form.
On this subject vide _Wasserglas und Infusorienerde_, &c., by Hermann
Krätzer; Vienna, 3s.

NATURAL CEMENT, OR HYDRAULIC LIME.--This is familiarly known to all
readers as Portland cement, but it is found of different qualities
in many countries, and is also made artificially. Certain mineral
substances have the quality when powdered and combined with water of
setting hard as stone; hence the name _hydraulic_. I have seen at
Budapest articles of Portland cement made in Hungary which equalled in
appearance fine black slate or marble, and, while much less brittle,
were indeed in every respect more durable and resistant to exposure.
These artificial cements can be largely incorporated with indifferent
substances, such as sand; they, however, require intense baking, and
may in consequence be regarded as a kind of fictile ware.

Portland cement is very thoroughly treated in _Hydraulischer Kalk und
Portland Cement_ (in all their relations), by Dr. H. Zwick.

TRAGACANTH, though called a gum, is properly nothing of the kind, not
being a true adhesive. It is the product of the _Astragalus verus_, a
tree found in Asia. It swells out in water, and softens, but without
dissolving. It is more of a glaze than a paste; hence it is used
extensively by confectioners, bookbinders, or to stiffen laces. It
enters, however, into the composition of several cements.

BREAD may be classed as a material by itself, as it derives certain
peculiar virtues from the yeast which causes its fermentation. With
certain combinations it becomes wax-like, or hard, and may be used to
advantage in many repairs as well as for modelling. It has the great
advantage of being easily worked and always at hand.

CELLULOID is treated of in this work under the head of Artificial
Ivory. It is made from gun-cotton and camphor. For full information on
this subject consult _Das Celluloid_, or “Celluloid, its Raw Materials,
Manufacture, Peculiarities, and Technical Applications, &c.,” by Dr.
Fr. Böckmann, Vienna and Leipzig.

POTATOES, peeled and mashed, and kept for thirty-six hours in a mixture
of eight parts of sulphuric acid to a hundred of water, and then dried
and pressed, form a white, hard substance very much like ivory, or,
as one may say, like white boxwood. LEHNER expresses his doubt as to
whether artificial meerschaum pipes were ever made of this substance,
but I have seen them, and can testify that they looked like meerschaum,
and certainly were much harder than _bruyere_, or briar-wood. Whether
they will “colour” I cannot say.

The principle by which potatoes, paper, and many other substances can
be hardened like parchment or horn is curious. Potatoes consist of
about seventy per cent. water and twenty-five per cent. of starch, the
remainder being salts and _cellulose_, which forms cells surrounded by
the grains of starch. “When such a substance is for some time brought
into contact with diluted sulphuric acid, that which results is simply
a contraction of the cells” (_i.e._, a hardening), “or a kind of
parchmenting.” Thus soft paper is converted into parchment.

It is evident that chemistry is as yet in its infancy as regards the
conversion of cellulose by acid into hard substances. Since cotton,
paper, and potatoes all produce by this process different substances,
it is probable that hundreds of organic, or at least vegetable,
substances will all yield new forms.

There is a marked difference between paste made of _starch_ or
_flour_, each having its peculiar merits. The former is principally
prepared from potatoes. To prepare the cement we mix it with a very
little water, stirring it very thoroughly till it assumes a bluish
appearance. A little more hot water is then added, and the mass left
till an opal-like tinge indicates that it has formed. To this then add
hot water _ad libitum_. As it is almost colourless in very thin coats,
it is largely used to glaze and give body or weight to, and often
to simply falsify, woven fabrics, which by its aid seem heavier. To
increase this weight white lead and other substances are used.

To make the best flour-paste, flour should be kneaded in a bag under
water till all the starch is washed away. What remains is a substance
closely allied to caseine, or the white of egg. Combined with lime it
forms a hard cement. A very slight admixture of carbolic acid (also
oil of cloves) will keep paste from souring or decay. This acid has
the property of destroying the growth of the minute vegetation which
constitutes fermentation, just as other strong scents or perfumes are
supposed to disinfect rooms, &c.

A very great number of other ingredients, such as the oxides of lead
or zinc, manganese, baryta, sulphur, sal ammoniac, flint-sand, clay,
salt, ochre, varnish, galbanum, or frankincense, enter into certain
recipes, but those already given may be regarded as constituting by far
the principal portion of all cements in ordinary use.


Fictile or Ceramic ware embraces, roughly speaking, all that is made of
clay, or mineral bases or materials, and which is subsequently baked
to give it hardness. The better the material and the more intense the
heat, or the greater the number of bakings to which most kinds are
subjected, the harder and more lasting will they be. The old china ware
which preceded porcelain, a great many specimens of old Roman vessels,
and, for a more modern example, old Italian majolica and Hungarian
wine-pitchers, made all within a century, are as hard as stone. They
chip a great deal before they break, just as agate might do.

TERRA-COTTA is simply earth or clay “baked.” In most of the examples
known as terra-cotta, earth predominates. Pure fine clay well fired is
superior to what is generally called terra-cotta. Neither can we really
class with it articles made of superior Portland cement, of which, as I
have said, I have seen many made at Budapest which were like the finest
hard slate.

Many writers confuse majolica with faïence; others regard the latter
as what we should call crockery, or such ware as ranges between glazed
terra-cotta and porcelain.

MAJOLICA consists generally of terra-cotta covered with a glaze.
A glaze is a fusible substance, we may say a kind of glass, mixed
with colouring matter, which is at the same time a protection and an
ornament. Enamel is glass in fine powder melted, used generally on
metal or by itself. The base of the paint is a substance fusible by
heat which is mixed with colours also fusible. Therefore when the
painting is submitted to heat it melts, adheres, and is permanent.
Glazing, enamelling, and china painting are essentially the same.

Terra-cotta is not difficult to mend. I can best illustrate this by an
example. A friend once gave me a terra-cotta vase from the Pyramid of
Cholula, in Mexico. These are supposed to be of very great antiquity.
This contained a fragment of pottery, probably a sacred relic of ruder
style, and I suppose of far earlier times. The vase, however, had
been broken to fragments, and the owner was about to throw it away as
worthless. I begged it of him. Firstly, I put the principal pieces
together, using, to make them adhere, glue with nitric acid. For finer
work I should have used Turkish cement or the best gum-mastic dissolved
in spirit or fish glue. Piece by piece with care I reconstructed the

There was wanting, however, one piece about three inches square. I
pasted with great care a piece of paper inside the vase for a _back_,
and then poured on it plaster of Paris liquefied with water. To make
this _set_ hard, the plaster or _gesso_ should be made with burnt
alum-water and dissolved gum-arabic. This exactly supplied the missing

When it was finished, I filled in all the broken edges and other
cavities with the plaster-paste, which set even harder than the
terra-cotta. The outer colour of the vase was of reddish rusty black.
I painted the whole over with a corresponding colour; that is to say,
I rubbed it in by thumb, which is very different from mere painting.
By cementing and rubbing I so restored the whole that the repair was
hardly perceptible. This process is carried to great perfection in
Italy with broken Etruscan ware.

I may here remark as regards _rubbing in_ oil or water colours, that it
is little known or practised, but it is of great value in restoration
when we wish to produce certain curious antique-looking effects. I
once knew in Rome an artist who had bought for a trifle an old carved
_baule_ or chest. By rubbing in with care on it Naples yellow and brown
shades, and subsequent friction, he had made it look strangely like
old ivory. Mere painting, however skilfully performed, would not have
given it its antique ivory look. The same artist had purchased one or
two common, large, yellowish terra-cotta wine-jars. He drew on them
classical figures, cut out the outlines a little with chisel and file,
and smoothing the figures with sandpaper, also ivoried the whole by
_rubbing in_ colour. This was but a few hours’ work, yet the effect was
startling. What had cost but a few francs would have sold for hundreds.
I should add that with the aid of fine retouching flexible varnish this
process could be very much facilitated. Any one who can draw or paint
at all can try this experiment on any old piece of wood-carving, or
on a common yellow coarse earthenware. Smooth the latter first with
sandpaper, then rub in the colours. The same is applicable to old
carving in marble.

All of these devices are of use to the restorer. As regards restoration
of terra-cotta, the field is wide and profitable. Not only in Italy,
but even in London, we may find for sale broken Etruscan vases or
similar objects for a trifle, which are extremely easy to restore.
These are generally of red or light yellow clay baked. If you have, let
us say, a vase fractured, obtain clay of the same colour--if you cannot
readily get it, take pipeclay--and colour it with a strong infusion of
red or yellow, though this is not necessary if the exterior is black.
Mix the clay well with glue or gum-arabic and alum-water, supply the
missing portions, and let them harden. With a little care and practice,
remarkable restorations may thus be made. I may here add that with
this composition, bottles, decanters, and cups can be coated, which,
when painted or rubbed in, exactly resemble Etruscan or other ancient
pottery. To prevent cracking, they should first be painted with thick,
coarse oil paint mixed with sand or umber, which forms a ground. Let it
dry--the longer the better--and then rub in, thinly, the gum and clay.
There is another composition of _blanc d’Espagne_, or whiting, and
silicate of soda, which sets even harder, but which is a little more
difficult at first to work, which may be used for such restoration.
This can be directly painted on glass for a ground.

_Majolica_ or _Faïence_ can generally be sufficiently well mended with
acidulated glue, but as the latter often communicates a dark stain,
it is better to use for fine ware, or any which is to be used, the
so-called Turkish cement. The best quality of this is made of the
finest quality of gum-mastic dissolved in spirit. It is so tenacious
that in the East gems are frequently directly attached by means of it
to metal, and they will often break sooner than separate from it. Most
chemists have for sale, or will prepare for you, some form of it. The
silicate of potash and whiting can also be supplied by chemists; they
should be mixed with great care, so as to form a medium paste, and then
used rapidly and with skill, because this cement hardens very quickly.
It is, however, a very powerful binder, and sets as hard as glass.

Having put together and cemented the broken pieces of a cup or vase,
they must be kept in place till the cement dries. This is effected by
means of many contrivances, regarding which the operator must employ
_some_ original inventiveness. Firstly, the pieces can often be simply
tied, or attached by pieces of tape, or parchment, or paper glued on.
In other cases india-rubber bands are useful. Again, bits of wood, or
sticks and wires, are the things useful. A bed of wax is generally a
sure guard. It is best to do this with great care, and not impatiently
rely on holding the pieces together with the fingers till they stick.
This is often the most difficult part of the whole operation; therefore
it should be done well and deliberately. And here it may be remarked
that, as in surgery, the most complicated cases of fracture may be
studied out and adjusted; for which reason I dare say that skilful
surgeons would be good menders of crockery, just as good astronomers
are always good riflemen.

When the broken pieces are adjusted and all is dry, there remain
the chips, hollows, ragged edges, and “hairs,” as the French call
them, or lines of juncture, to be filled and smoothed. This is done
with the cement which you employ, according to the quality of the
material, either plaster and gum-arabic, silicate and whiting, or
powdered chalk. Some experts succeed with white of an egg and finely
powdered quicklime, which holds firmly, but which requires practice to
amalgamate. Fill the cavities carefully, pressing the cement well in,
as the Romans did, with a stick or point. When all is smooth, paint
over the blank spaces and varnish with Sohnée, No. 3, or with a slight
coating of silicate. Fine copal varnish is rather tougher or less

The most thorough process of all is to unite the fragments with a
vitreous or metallic _flux_, such as the silicate--there are several of
these--and then have the work baked or fired. It can then be painted
with porcelain colours under glaze, and fired again. As this is very
delicate, difficult, and expensive, few amateurs will care to try
it. It is, however, perfect, and by means of it the most complete
reparation can be effected. The Japanese do this simply with the
blow-pipe, by means of which they fix enamel powders even on wood. This
use of the pipe is also difficult, but the ancient Romans are said to
have employed the process with most minor work. As a thread of glass
will melt in a candle, and as fine-glass powder is equally fusible, it
can be understood that under the flame of a blow-pipe the latter can
often be melted so as to avail in restoration.

CROCKERY, OR FAÏENCE, AND PORCELAIN.--“Crockery,” by which we commonly
understand such ware as that of the blue willow plates, is far
superior to terra-cotta, since its _core_ or basis is thin, and very
hard, and its gloss of a different description, and more incorporated
with the body; or it is of a single superior body.

PORCELAIN differs entirely from the other two kinds of fictile ware,
being an elaborate mineralogical compound, its base being _kaolin_,
a friable, white, earthy substance, requiring great care in its
preparation, and _petunse_, or feldspar, which is united with the
_kaolin_. The result is a very delicate and beautiful diaphanous
ware, or one through which light passes to a limited degree. Both
crockery and porcelain are far more difficult to mend, owing to the
impossibility--particularly with the latter--of making fractures

The first and most simple process of mending both kinds of ware is
to make small holes with a drill along the edges of the fracture,
and then, adjusting the fragments, bind them together with wire. M.
RIS-PAQUOT claims that “the honour of this discovery belongs properly
to a humble and modest workman named DELILLE, of the little village of
Montjoye, in Normandy.” But the archæologist will say of this claim,
as the English judge did of a similar one, that the plaintiff might as
well apply for a patent for having discovered the art of mixing brandy
with water, since there was probably never yet a savage who had wire,
or even string, who did not know enough to mend broken calabashes,
jars, and pipes by this solid method of sewing. From the time when
large earthen punch-bowls were first used in Europe, we find them
mended with silver wire. It is needless to devote whole pages with
illustrations, as M. RIS-PAQUOT has done, to show how to effect such
mending. The holes are made with either a bore or hand drill, such as
can be bought in every tool shop. If the reader will obtain one and
experiment with it on any penny plate or broken fragment, he will soon
master all the mystery. The wire is made fast by a turn with a pair of
nippers or pincers. Before fastening, wash the edges of the ware with
white of egg in which a very little whiting, or finely powdered lime or
plaster of Paris, has been mixed.

I may here observe that the wire for china-drilling should be half
round, or flat on one side. To prepare this, take brass wire, say a
length of about two feet, and, holding an old knife, draw the wire
firmly and steadily against it.

There are endless cements for sale by chemists, all warranted perfect,
to mend glass and china, and most of them do indeed answer the purpose
very well, for nature has given us not a few materials wherewith to
repair accidents. Thus, even boiling in milk will often suffice to
reunite broken edges. But I believe that of all, the Turkish cement
already described, which is made of gum MASTIC (a term improperly
applied in France to putty, by Americans to lime-plaster on houses, and
by Levantines to spirit with resin in it), is the most adhesive and
resistant to heat, cold, or moisture.

The art of mending does not consist so much of knowing what to use for
an ADHESIVE (since, as I have said, every chemist’s shop abounds in
these) as in skill and tact with which fragments are brought and kept
together, missing portions supplied, and in knowing the substance with
which to fill a blank. There are cases in which, when a hole has been
knocked in a china or glass plate, it can be drilled out round, and a
disc of the same substance or colour, or even of another, inserted.
This is almost an art by itself, and by means of it very singular and
puzzling effects may be introduced; as, for instance, when a number of
holes are drilled in a white china plate and then filled with discs
of coloured china, agate, coral, &c. In the East, turquoise and coral
beads are often thus set into porcelain, as well as wood. The mastic or
acidulated glue is used to make the objects inserted hold firmly.

As the smoker, when he breaks his pipe across the stem, has it repaired
with a short silver slide or tube, so when a china jar is broken across
the neck, the reparation can be concealed by a silver collar, which is
sometimes a great improvement; as, for instance, when the head of a
china dog, or even of a china man, is taken off. But in a great many
cases, or in all where this kind of concealment is advisable, it may
be made, like Cæsar’s wife, beyond suspicion, by making the collar or
concealing ornament, or leaf or flower, of silicate and whiting so as
to resemble the ware itself, which can be done very nicely.

SILICATE OF SODA is sometimes sold in the form of a dry solid, which is
placed in a little vinegar, and warmed. When dissolved it can be used
_ad libitum_. It is often used as a glaze for stone.

There is a curious old story about mending broken crockery by means of
magic--or rather by deceit--which, though not of a practical nature, is
at least amusing. It is partially told in a book published about 1670,
entitled _Joco-Seriorum Naturæ et Artis Magiæ Naturales Centuriæ Tres_.
It happened once in Mergentheim that there was a great fair, when the
whole courtyard of the palace was full of earthenware vessels for sale
_ab assidentibus muliebibus_ (by attendant women). Seeing this, the
Prince of Mergentheim went about among these women, and so arranged it
that they divided all their stock into two parts, or exact duplicates,
half of which they hid away, while the other half was exposed for sale.
While at dinner the Prince spoke much of magic, and professed to be
able to produce such a delirium in people’s minds that they would act
like lunatics. “Thus, for instance,” he said, pointing casually out of
the window, “you see all those women. I can drive them mad at once.”
Whereupon one who was present wagered a handsome carriage and four
horses that the Prince could not do it. The latter smiled, waved his
hand, and uttered a spell, when lo! all at once the market-women began,
_bacchantium more_--like raging Bacchantæ--to attack their crockery
with sticks and stools, and hurl it about, and dash it to pieces.

The one who had betted the chariot protested that it was a trick
arranged beforehand. The Prince replied, “Well, the pots are all
broken. If I can mend them again by a spell, wilt thou then believe?”
The other said, “Most certainly.” Then the Prince waved his wand and
said, “It is done. Let us go down into the courtyard and see.” And when
there, sure enough they found the pots all whole again--at least they
discovered others exactly like them in their places.

The legend continued that the Prince, though he kept the carriage and
horses as a trophy, liberally paid for them. The author of the _Tres
Centuriæ_, who does not record the secret of the little arrangement,
declares that he does not know whether it was all done by a fraud
or by magic. If it was the latter, I regret that the incantation by
which broken crockery is mended is now lost. The most powerful spell
known to me is _Recipe Gummæ Mastichæ duæ unciæ cum Spirito Vini
fiat mixtio_--that is, mastic cement. It is generally combined with
sturgeon’s bladder glue.

This cement answers very well for glass. One of the old recipes,
which was very good indeed, is thus given by JOHANNES WALLBURGER
(1760):--“Take finely cut and a little powdered sturgeon’s bladder”
(still sold by all chemists), “soften it all night in spirits, add to
this a little clean and powdered mastic, boil it a little in a brass
pan. Should it become too thick, add a little spirits.” This may be
also used for many other purposes.

A strong but coarser adhesive, especially for crockery and stone, can
be made as follows:--Take old and hard goat’s milk cheese, and warm it
in hot water till it forms, by pounding, a mass like turpentine. Add to
this, while grinding, finely pulverised quicklime and the well-shaken
white of eggs.

I do not hesitate to give a variety of such recipes, because in every
one the artist will find valuable suggestions for other purposes than
simply glueing broken articles together. This latter is a valuable
“filler” for many purposes. Glue was formerly made into a strong
cement by boiling it for a time in water, but before it had become
incorporated with the water, the latter was poured off and strong
spirits substituted and stirred well in.

A very popular old cement for crockery, of which there were several
variations, was made by mixing glue, turpentine, ox-gall, the juice
of garlic, and sturgeon-bladder, tragacanth, and mastic. All of this
singularly smelling mixture was put into a pan and boiled in strong
spirits, such as whisky, then kneaded on a board under a roller, again
boiled with more spirits, yet again rolled, and this was repeated a
third time, and then cooled till it could be cut into cakes. When these
were to be used they were again steeped in spirits. But with this
cement, glass or metal could be most firmly attached to wood. I confess
that I have never tried it, but it was evidently a very strong cement.

Another of these somewhat complicated recipes for crockery, glass,
and porcelain, which I find in the _Tausandkünstler_, 1782, is
as follows:--Half an ounce of finely cut sturgeon’s bladder, two
teaspoonfuls of alabaster powder or gypsum, quarter of an ounce of
tragacanth, one teaspoonful of silberglatt, two of powdered mastic,
two of frankincense, two of gum-arabic, one of Marienglas, one
tablespoonful of spirits of wine, one of beer-vinegar. Boil it and
stir, and apply. Any drops sticking to the mended article may be
removed with vinegar. When it is to be used again revive it by heating,
adding spirits of wine and beer-vinegar. The gum-frankincense is here
worth noting.

A common cement for mending broken glass or china is prepared as
follows:--To two parts of gum-shellac add one of turpentine; boil them
over a slow fire, and form the mass into small cakes before it dries.
To use it, warm with a lamp. To mend ivory or wood, take a cake and let
it dissolve in spirits of wine.

A very strong cement is made as follows:--Take one ounce of finely
powdered mastic dissolved in six of spirits of wine and two ounces of
shredded sturgeon’s bladder dissolved in two ounces common spirits; add
one half ounce of _gum-ammoniac_ as it hardens; warm it when it is to
be used. This is as strong a cement as can be made.

Defects, cracks, and repairs in porcelain, &c., may often be concealed
as follows:--Paint the spot with silicate of soda, not too much
thinned, and dust it over before it dries with bronze powder. This will
set so hard that it may be polished with an agate burnisher.

It is also possible that many of my readers have heard of _gesso
painting_, an art perfected by Mr. WALTER CRANE. This consists of
painting with plaster of Paris in solution, with the point of a brush,
depositing the soft paste in relief. The same principle is applicable
to painting in silicate and whiting on glass surfaces. By means of it
decoration can be given to any glass bottle or other object.

LIME enters into the composition of many cements, the simplest being
the mortar formed by its admixture with water. But the quality of
this is very much determined by that of the lime. The _chunam_ of
India, which resembles white marble or a fine white stone, is made of
sea-shells burned to lime. A wonderfully hard, fine, white cement used
by the Romans for their best mosaic-work, and which set with great
rapidity, was made of shell-lime with the white of eggs. I have found
the same composition worthless when made with inferior stone-lime.

A good cheap cement for porcelain and glass is combined as follows:--

  Starch or wheat flour    8
  Glue                     4
  Purified chalk          12
  Turpentine               4
  Spirits of wine         24
  Water                   24

Pour a part of the spirits and water mixed on the flour and chalk,
add the glue, boil it down till the latter dissolves, and stir the
turpentine into the whole. This can be used to make artificial wood
with shavings or sawdust.

A very good cement for porcelain, and one which is colourless, is made
by cutting the finest clear gelatine into bits, and dissolving it in
vinegar of 50°, stirring it in a porcelain vessel until well mixed.
When cold it will harden, but softens under the influence of heat,
when it may be applied to the broken edges of the porcelain, which are
to be pressed together. It will be perfectly hard within twenty-four
hours. It is to be observed that the art of keeping such joined pieces
together is the most difficult problem in mending. This cement is
widely applicable to many objects, and also admits of considerable
modification and additions, like all cements. As it is colourless, it
may be combined with ivory dust, or white powders of baryta, magnesia,
whiting, &c., to form artificial ivory with glycerine. With sturgeon’s
bladder it makes a still stronger cement.

LEHNER observes that glue has the property, when combined with acid
chrome salt (_sauren chromsalzen_), of losing its solubility when
exposed to the light, so that it can be used as a cement for broken
porcelain and glass. If the juncture is to be invisible, take the
purest white gelatine; otherwise the cheaper gilder’s glue will answer.
To prepare the chrome glue, dissolve the gelatine or the glue in
boiling water, then add the solution of double chromic acid alkali, or
the red chrome alkali of commerce, stir it well up, and put it into tin

The formula is:--

  Gelatine or gilders’ glue      5-10
  Water                         90
  Red chrome alkali              1-2
  Dissolved in water            10

To use, warm the cement, apply it to the broken glass, which must then
be exposed for several hours to the sunshine.

Cracked bottles are mended by a very ingenious process, described by
LEHNER. The bottle is corked, but not tightly, and then exposed to
heat about 100° centigrade. Then the cork is driven in tightly, which
causes an expansion of the cracks, which are at once filled by means
of a finely pointed brush with the silicate. Removed to a cooler place
the glass contracts on the as yet fluid silicate, and the fractures are

       *       *       *       *       *


  Well-cleaned glass powder         10
       ”       fluor spar powder    20
  Silicate of soda solution         60

This must be very quickly stirred and applied. This is one of the
_hardest_ and best cements, and it resists heat and other influences
so well that when very carefully amalgamated it may be applied to the
manufacture of many useful articles. The same may be made with the
substitution of white pipeclay for fluor spar, or with the addition of
the same in somewhat larger proportion. Pipeclay or any good clay can
also be combined with glycerine to prevent its drying. With gelatine
and a _little_ glycerine it will harden and not crack.

This requires careful amalgamation and rapid work.

To prepare very fine glass-powder for this cement, heat any glass till
red-hot, then drop it into cold water. It may then be reduced in a
mortar to an impalpable powder.

Earthenware tubes or pipes which are to be exposed to intense heat may
be luted or joined with the following cement:--

  Peroxide of manganese     80
  White oxide of zinc      100
  Silicate of soda          20

“This does _not melt_, save at a very high temperature; and when
melted it forms a glassy substance, which holds with extreme tenacity”

To prepare _caseine_ cement for crockery or marble, it may be observed
that we should always take _fresh_ white cheese and macerate or knead
it thoroughly till only pure CASEINE remains. By adding to this
one-third of powdered quicklime and blending the two ingredients
very thoroughly we get a very strong glue. An admixture of 10 parts
silicate of soda also forms a powerful cement.

The following for tile-work and common brick-crockery, or terra-cotta
or porcelain, is very highly commended by LEHNER, who says that
anything mended with it will sooner break in another place than where
it is cemented:--

  Slacked lime         10
  Borax                10
  Litharge              5

The cement is mixed with water, and the tile or crockery, &c., heated
just before being mended.

I cannot insist too strongly on this--that no one is to expect that by
simply taking recipes, as written, compounding and applying them, there
will be a successful result at the first trial. We must always have the
best material, often fresh, and generally attempt the application more
than once. _Perseverando vinces_--“By perseverance you will conquer.”
Not only must the _quality_ of the ingredients used be of the best, but
the composition be made exactly in the order in which they are given.
The same substances often give very different results, simply because
the order of combination in the two was different.


  Calcined lime        10
  Purified chalk      100
  Silicate of soda     25

This hardens slowly. It can, when mixed with small sharp-edged
fragments of broken stone, be used to form pavements, or as a bed for
mosaics. For the same purposes, or for cementing marble slabs, a cement
known as that of BÖTTGER may be used. It is made thus:--

  Purified chalk                    100
  Thick solution silicate of soda    25

This becomes (LEHNER) in a few hours so hard that it can be polished.
It is the principal, and almost the only, cement used by M.
RIS-PACQUOT, or commended in his work on mending crockery. It admits
of a great variety of modifications. It is very superior as a bed for
mosaics of all kinds. It forms, like the preceding, also a good bed for
scagliola and ceresa.[1] I would here say of the latter, that I could
wish to see it more generally used for mural or wall ornament, since
any one who can paint a face or decoration boldly and largely in oil
or water colours will find it very easy. It admits of rapid execution,
and is striking from its brilliancy. Everything in it depends on
having a good bed to which it can easily adhere. I may here observe
that beds like these which set hard and _fine_ are also adapted to
fresco-painting, in which the difficulty is to select colours which,
when absorbed and dried, do not fade. Most paints made from mineral
substances combine with silicate of soda.

I may here remark that a curious and easy art, very little known,
consists of carving or cutting low reliefs on tiles or terra-cotta or
brick-like ware, which, when outlined or in relief, can be glazed in
colour with silicate of soda; also with many other cements.

A common and good CEMENT FOR PORCELAIN OR GLASS is made as follows:--

  Calcined gypsum or plaster of Paris  50
  Calcined lime                        10
  White of egg                         20

This must be quickly mingled and rapidly used, as it sets very rapidly
and becomes extremely hard. It makes an admirable bed for mosaics or

When plaster of Paris is simply combined with burnt alum in water, the
objects mended with it require several weeks to set or adhere. Gypsum
combined with gum alone holds firmly, but does not resist water (vide
_General Recipes_).

CEMENTS FOR LUTING or closing chemical apparatus:--

  Dried clay                           10
  Linseed-oil                           1

This endures heat to boiling-point of quicksilver.

A more resistant fireproof is as follows:--

  Manganese                            10
  Grey oxide of zinc                   20
  Clay                                 40
  Linseed-oil varnish                   7

Of the oil only so much is needed as to combine the mass to a paste.

A LUTING for very high temperatures:--

  Clay                                100
  Glass powder                          2

Another CEMENT:--

  Clay                                100
  Chalk                                 2
  Boracic acid                          3

LEHNER has in his work on Cements many valuable suggestions as to
mending porcelain. _Firstly_, that in such mending, the adhesive be
applied with care, in as even and as thin a coat as possible; to
which I would add, that the unskilful amateur is apt to daub it on
irregularly and carelessly, with the impression that the more cement
there is the better it will stick, which is just so far wrong that
every superfluous grain is just so much of an impediment to good
drying or adhesion. Again, the inexpert daubs it on with a stick or
“anything,” when a fine-pointed brush or hair-pencil should be used.

BROKEN CHINA WHICH IS TO BE MENDED should be carefully covered away
so as to protect it from dust, which is hard to clean off. Beware of
fitting the pieces together again and again, as is often done.

If the broken china was used to contain milk or soup, &c., it should
be laid in lye to dissolve all the fatty substance, and then be washed
with clear water. Painted porcelain cannot, however, be laid in lye,
which would ruin all the colours; in this case wipe them clean with
dilute acid.

The great difficulty in mending is to bring the pieces together and
keep them so till the adhesive dries. LEHNER recommends that when
objects are small and costly, a mould of gypsum be constructed round
them. In most cases putty or wax is far more manageable. As before
remarked, indiarubber bands are chiefly to be relied on; even if not
capable of holding permanently, they aid greatly in tying with cord.

In the Manual of F. GOUPIL, rewritten by FREDERICK DILLAYE, the
following method of restoring broken vases, &c., is commended:--

“Form a solid mass of clay in the form of the original object. Then
place on it, one by one, the fragments in their place, keeping the clay
moist. When this is done, paste over the exterior strips of paper, in
sufficient quantity to hold the whole firmly together. Then remove
the moist clay, and paste strong slips of paper” (or thin parchment)
“over the interior so as to hold the whole. Then” (when dry) “carefully
moisten and remove the outer coating.”

The author mentions that this is only applicable to vases the mouth of
which is wide enough to permit the hand to be introduced. I would here,
however, add, that even when it is too small for this purpose, the
restoration can be equally well effected as follows:--Make the core of
wet clay, or, better, of beeswax, then paste over it thin tough paper.
Cover this with gum-arabic solution, and set the pieces on it. When
dry, melt out the wax or clay.

Fish-gum, _colle de poisson_--that is to say, what is generally called
_sturgeon’s bladder_, which includes the bladder of several kinds of
fishes dissolved--is best for glass, marble, porcelain, and all kinds
of mending where the cement should not show. This, when combined with
oil, is _said_, if mixed with cloth-dust and fibre of wool or silk or
cotton, to spin up into thread.




      “_Glück und Glas
       Wie bald bricht dass._”

      “_Good luck, like glass,
       Soon breaks, alas!
    Yet skill can bring it so to pass
    As to mend a fortune or a glass._”

    --Old German Proverb.

Putty is naturally the first cement which suggests itself in connection
with the mending of glass, since this latter material is most familiar
to the world in the form of windows, although in many places--as, for
instance, Florence, where it is called _mastico_ and _pasta_--it is
little used or known. The word is from the French _potée_, which also
means a potful. It is very useful, not only for setting glass-panes,
but for filling holes in wood, and forms a part of certain mixtures as
a cement for moulding ornaments. It may be weak and brittle, or else
strong and very hard, according to the manner in which it is prepared.
It is commonly made by combining chalk in paste, with water, with
linseed-oil; other powders are also used. In America it is made with
pulverised soap-stone and oil. Its excellence depends on the quality
of the oil and the care with which it is kneaded. It should be kept in
a damp cellar, in wet cloth or under water. Should it dry and become
brittle, fresh oil must be added.

“_To take hard old putty from glass window-panes_, cover it with a
mixture of one part of calcined lime, two of soda, and two of water”
(LEHNER). Oxide of lead combined with oil makes an excellent but yellow
putty. It sets very hard.

The white or grey oxide of zinc combined with linseed-oil or
linseed-oil varnish makes a cement which is used for making glass
adhere to wood or metal.

_Thick lacquers_, such as copal or amber, may be used instead of common
varnish with better effect, and the composition is better when calcined
lime or oxide of lead are added. The excellence of the cement depends
on the degree to which the ingredients are amalgamated or rubbed in
together; and this rule holds good for all similar mixtures.

_Varnish_, or heavy or “flat” lacquer of copal or amber, forms of
itself a strong adhesive, with the only drawback that it takes a long
time to dry.


  Gutta-percha          100
  Black pitch (asphalt) 100
  Oil of turpentine      15

This is a glue of general application, and specially good for leather
and mending shoes.

The reader who would thoroughly study the subject of glass may consult
_Die Glas-Fabrikation_, a very admirable work by Raimund Gerner, glass
manufacturer; A. Hartleben, Vienna and Leipzig, price 4s. 6d.

Small triangles of sheet tin or iron are often used to fasten panes.

The mending of broken glass is in most cases much the same as that
of broken crockery or porcelain. The cement made from mastic, or
mastic combined with sturgeon’s bladder, or generally of silicate with
whiting, is the proper adhesive. As silicate of soda is simply liquid
glass, it can be employed to fill spaces or to make glass; but, owing
to its sticky nature, it is hard to manage. This may be often effected
by first preparing a layer of soft paper, on which successive coats of
silicate are laid. When dry the paper can be washed away.

SILICATE OF SODA has become of such importance that a French work on
mending fictile ware is almost entirely limited to its use as a binder,
when combined with whiting. _Water-glass_ was long supposed to be a
modern invention, till some one found it described in Van Helmont’s
works, A.D. 1610. But I have found it also in the _Joco-seriorum
Naturæ_, 1545; in the _Magia Naturalis_ of Wolfgang Hildebrand,
which is of the same time; and, finally, by _Paracelsus_ (_Liber de
Præparationibus_), where he describes it as _Destillatio Crystalli_.
And the author of the _Joco-seriorum_ speaks of soft glass as a thing
which had been treated by several writers.

According to WAGNER there are three kinds of soluble glass--(i.)
the soluble potash glass, 45 silex, 3 charcoal, 34 carb. potass.;
(ii.) soluble soda glass, 100 pts. quartz, 60 cal. sulp. soda, 15 of
charcoal; (iii.) double soluble glass, 100 quartz, 22 cal. soda,
28 carb. potass., 6 wood-coal. Water-glass combines well with any
“indifferent” powder, such as powdered glass, to make a strong cement.
To powder glass, heat it red-hot, drop it into cold water and pulverise
it. It will become as fine as flour, and in this state combines with
gum-arabic, or glue, or gums to make a powerful glass-mender. Mixed
with powdered glass, oxide of zinc, or whiting, powdered marble,
calcined bone, plaster of Paris, wood-ashes, &c., it can be worked like
putty. Mixed with colours it is used for stereochrome painting, a kind
of fresco.

Missing pieces of glass, such as leaves from a chandelier, can be
easily replaced with water-glass, and all cracks or defects glazed over
with it.

This mending is allied, however, to certain processes in art which are
so interesting that I venture on a description of them.

A great deal of mending and restoring in glass can be effected by
means of the blow-pipe and spirit-lamp or gas-flame. Difficult as
this may sound, it is not only an easy, but also a very curious and
entertaining, occupation. In any city an expert or workman may be found
who would give a few lessons. I have very often been impressed with
the fact that so little artistic invention or originality is found in
glass-work. Even the far-famed Venetian work is extremely limited, and
“mannered” or conventional, compared to what it might be.

The following is an old recipe for repairing glass:--Take finest
powdered glass, best mastic, with equal parts of white resin and
distilled turpentine. Melt all well together. To use, gradually warm
it and then apply.

Quicklime and white of egg, intimately rubbed into one another on a
flat surface, make a good cement for ordinary glass or pottery.

The cement of _gum-arabic_ is much stronger when made as follows:--Take
gum-arabic and dissolve it in acetic acid (vinegar) instead of water.
It must be melted in a hottish place, as it will in that case be much
better. The finest quality of sheet-gelatine makes a transparent glue,
invaluable where colour is to be avoided.

in the cork, till the hot air within expands the cracks, which must
be at once filled with the liquid glass. Then, as the water-glass is
driven in by the pressure of the outer air, as the bottle cools the
cracks are closed.

You cannot well mend a broken looking-glass, but something can be
done with the large pieces. Varnish or paste a piece of paper and lay
it on the quicksilver. Then with an American glass-cutter, price one
shilling, or a diamond-cutter, divide them into squares for small
mirrors. Two of these of equal size can easily be converted into a
folding kaleidoscope (not described by BREWSTER in his work on the
Kaleidoscope). Lay the two pieces face to face, and paste over the
whole, on the quicksilvered side, a piece of thin leather or muslin.
When dry, with a penknife, cut a slit down between the two on three
sides. It will then open and shut like a portfolio. This may serve
as a travelling, looking or shaving glass, but it is very useful to
designers of patterns. Place the glass upright on a table at a right
angle, or more or less, and lay between the mirrors any object or a
pattern, and you will see it multiplied from three to twelve times,
according to the angle. Beautiful variations of designs can thus be
made, _ad infinitum_. They may be used as reflectors, when placed
behind a light.

Take such a piece of looking-glass and lay a piece of paper on the
back, and then with an agate or ivory point write or draw on it, but
not as hard as to break the silvering. Then turn it to the sun or a
strong light, and let the reflection fall on a white surface. Though
nothing be perceptible on the face of the mirror, the writing will
appear in the reflection.

Glass is engraved as metal is etched; with this exception, that,
instead of sulphuric or nitric acids, fluoric acid is used. Both glass
and _china_ can also be directly etched with a steel point, aided by
emery powder; which latter art I have never seen described, but which
I have successfully practised. It is fully set forth in my forthcoming
work on “One Hundred Arts.”

Malleable glass, or at least that which does not break easily when let
fall, is prepared by dipping the objects made from it, while quite hot,
into oil. I conjecture that panes of window-glass thus prepared would
not be broken by hail, as I have observed that plate-glass is not.

It sometimes happens that goblets of thin glass--especially those which
have had a peculiar kind of annealing or tempering--ring beautifully
when blown on so as to vibrate them. The effect is almost magical on
one who hears it for the first time. I mention it that the reader
may, when he finds old Venetian or any other thin glass goblets for
sale, see if there be not among them a finely ringing one. An organ
could be thus made to play by wind. With regard to music on glass,
take any ordinary bottle, and by rubbing on it a cork a little wetted
you can, with a little practice, produce a startling imitation of
the chirping, and even warbling, of birds. I knew one who could thus
imitate to perfection nightingales and call forth responsive songs. The
effect depends in a degree on the quality of the cork, and also that
of the glass. With a violin-bow very musical sounds may be drawn from
the edge of a pane of glass. It seems as if these methods might also
be developed into musical instruments. It is well known that tubes of
glass suspended when a candle is placed beneath them give forth musical
sounds, often of great richness and strength. There are also the
musical glasses, which may be played in two ways, either by rubbing the
edges with a wetted finger or by filling the glasses more or less with
water till an octave is formed, and then tapping them with a stick of
wood. All of which has, indeed, nothing to do with mending glass, yet
which may not be without interest to those who wish to learn all its

Among GLASS CEMENTS in common use which can be recommended are the
well-known Polytechnic, also the Imperial Liquid Glue (no heating
required), Hayden & Co., Warwick Square, London. There is also a very
good glass cement made and sold by Keye, filter-maker, Hill Street,

The Venetians made ordinary glass goblets very beautiful by painting
on them in relief with a substance which I suspect was in some cases
a form of silicate, or else with a kind of paint which was not enamel,
yet which seems to have been partly vitreous. It rather resembles oil
paint with glass powder, but I doubt if it was this.

Working in glass implies the mending and restoration of stained-glass
windows; that is, of painting on glass and a study of designs. Of all
this there is almost a literature. Among other works I can commend _A
Book of Ornamental Glazing Quarries_, by A. W. Franks, £1, 1s.; _Divers
Works of Early Masters in Ecclesiastical Decoration_, by Owen Jones,
£3, 10s.; _Westlake’s History of Stained Glass_, vol. i., _Fourteenth
Century_, 13s. 6d.; vol. iii., _Fifteenth Century_, 18s., published by
Batsford, 52 High Holborn. At Rimmel’s, in Oxford Street, the reader
can generally obtain these, and all works on similar subjects at prices
much below the original cost.

A MENDING CEMENT FOR GLASS is made as follows:--

  Common cheese   100
  Water            50
  Slacked lime     20

This is found in many books of recipes. It must be observed that the
cheese is to be for sometime carefully pounded with the water till
quite soft, and the lime then very quickly stirred in. This is not only
useful to mend glass, but can be applied to many other purposes. The
cheese is best when fresh.

CASEINE (or pure cheese) can be combined with ease with liquid silicate
of soda (LEHNER), and thus forms a very strong cement for porcelain or
glass, or any other material. Fill a flask with one-fourth of fresh
caseine to three-fourths of silicate, and shake it thoroughly and

Another formula is as follows:--

  Caseine           10
  Silicate of soda  60

This must be used very promptly, and the article mended dried in the

A CEMENT which may be used in several combinations is made by
dissolving fresh acidulated caseine (made by adding vinegar to milk,
and carefully washing the deposit) in a very little caustic lye. It
must be kept corked in bottles.

These _caseine_ or cheese or curd cements hold well, but do not well
resist water, except in powerful combination.

The excellence of cements depends to a great degree on the quality of
the materials and the scrupulous observance of care in making. Thus for
the following, for glass:--

  Glue            200
  Water           100
  Calcined lime    50

in which we have one of the commonest and oldest formulas, the value
depends on “the make-up” that is, the glue must be left in cold water
for two days, then boiled in a _balneum mariæ_, or a double kettle, in
lukewarm water; that is, it must not boil, or the glue will be weakened.

The so-called DIAMOND or TURKISH CEMENT, for glass or any other fine
work, has been known since early times as incredibly strong. Its
formula, according to Lehner, is as follows:--

    I. Sturgeon’s bladder    20
       Water                140
       Spirits of wine       60

   II. Gum-mastic            10
       Alcohol               80

  III. Gum-ammoniac           6

These are three separate portions, No. I. being prepared by warming
and filtering. The gum-ammoniac is reserved from the others, and added
_after_ they are mingled.

A STRONG BASE FOR A CEMENT FOR GLASS, as well as wood or stone, is made
by gradually stirring finely sifted wood-ashes into silicate of soda,
or strong acid glue, till a syrup-like substance results. In America
the best ashes for this purpose are those of the hickory. Perhaps beech
wood yields them equally good.

There is a DIAMOND CEMENT which is of special value to attach gems to
rings or metal, to make coral or pearl or ivory adhere together, and,
in short, for all fine work where a very strong adhesive is required.
It is as follows:--

  Sturgeon’s bladder   8
  Gum-ammoniac         1
  Galbanum             1
  Spirits of wine      4

The sturgeon’s bladder is cut into small pieces and steeped in the
spirits, and the rest, in solution, then added. It must be warmed again
when used.

As this cement will bear long exposure to moisture before being at
all injured by it, it can be used as a medium for painting on glass,
and thereby producing effects very little inferior, either as regards
beauty or durability, to glass itself. The experiment can be easily
tried, as any chemist can make up the recipe. When finished, the
painting can be coated with liquid silicate of soda, which will give it
all the property of glass.

A LIME CEMENT FOR GLASS is made as follows:--

  Calcined lime           30
  Litharge                30
  Linseed-oil varnish      5

JEWELLERS’ CEMENT. Extremely strong:--

  Fish-glue solution     100
  Mastic varnish (pure)   50

The fish-glue must first be dissolved in spirits of wine.

TO JOIN GLASS AND METAL, &c.--Stir slacked and powdered lime in hot
glue. This sets as a very hard substance. It can be extensively
modified and varied for many substances, and used for painting.


  Gum-arabic            50
  Sugar                 10
  Water                 50
  Oil of turpentine     10

The gum, sugar, and water are first carefully combined, and then the
turpentine well stirred with the mixture.


  Muriate of lime      2
  Gum-arabic          20
  Water               25

Not commended by LEHNER, as being too soluble. TO CLOSE BOTTLES:--

  Powdered resin       6
  Caustic soda         2
  Water               10

To be thoroughly mixed and left for several hours. Before using, stir
well into it eight to nine parts of calcined plaster of Paris. This
will in half-an-hour take firm hold or “set,” and is waterproof. A good
filler for cracks.

The reader who desires to be perfectly informed as to glass in all its
relations can obtain, by application to J. BAER, Rossmarkt, Frankfort
on the Main, Germany, a catalogue which is perhaps the most extensive
on the subject ever published.

Coloured or stained glass windows may be repaired or made by the
following process, which has the advantage of being quite as durable
as any in which the colours are burned in:--Take two panes of glass,
and paint on one your pattern with fine varnish and transparent colour
mixed. When dry, go over the whole, with a broad, soft brush, with a
liquid mastic cement, which must be quite transparent and thin. Any
transparent strong cement will serve, but it is advisable to use the
mastic in all cases as a narrow border and at the edges. If you have an
engraving, especially one on very soft spongy paper, take a pane of
glass, cover it with a coat of varnish, and just before it dries press
the engraving face down, on it. When quite dry, with a sponge slightly
damped and the end of the finger, peel away all the soft paper, leaving
the lines of the engraving. These may now be coloured over, with even
very little skill and care. A very good effect may be produced, so
that a very indifferent artist can in this way produce very tolerable
pictures. Then, to better preserve this, double it with the other pane.

By painting and shading also on this _second_ pane, as I have
discovered, very beautiful and striking effects of light and shade can
be developed, so that this forms, as it were, a new art by itself. This
will remind the reader of the porcelain lamp-shades, which so much
resemble pictures in Indian ink; but the effects of the double panes
are more singular and far more varied. There may be even a third pane
employed. As the materials for this art are far from expensive, and
as it is extremely easy, I have no doubt that it will be extensively
practised. Protecting one glass picture by another is not a new art;
but I am not aware that the obtaining a series of lights by thus
reduplicating the panes has been practised.

A modification of it is as follows:--Cut out several panes,
corresponding to the size of the two glass covers, of quite transparent
paper or parchment, prepared by rubbing with oil or vaseline, lard, or
the like. Paint on these the required modifications of the picture.
The advantage of this is, that a great many shades can thus be given
in a thinner space, creating an astonishing effect. As this is not at
all a mere imitation of stained glass, and as it produces effects not
to be found in the latter, it may rank as an art by itself. The chief
of these effects is _relief_, especially shown in the human figure.
But the most extraordinary are the variations of chiaroscuro which
it affords, by availing himself of which the artist may create or
obtain striking suggestions for oil or _aquarelle_ pictures; for these
transparencies can be so infinitely and ingeniously varied that no one
can fail to derive from them many ideas.

This may be tested by simply preparing any picture, say of a statue,
a castle on a rock, or a face. Cut out from sheets of the same size
in very transparent paper a series of shadows adapted to it, and
adjust them. They may be all in monochrome or one colour, or in many
hues. They may range, with proper care, from almost imperceptible
shadow to opaque black. By beginning with only two stencils or shaded
pictures--for as regards these the artist must be guided by his own
skill--and gradually increasing the number, the proper adjustment
will soon be found. I advise the beginner in copying to proceed
from monochrome to two colours before attempting many. Teachers in
_aquarelle_ will find that such copies are--after a certain degree of
proficiency shall have been obtained--much superior to those commonly
used, as they come nearer to nature.

The most perfect form of this curious art is an improvement which,
I believe, is my own invention. This consists of introducing leaves
of painted _mica_ between the two glasses. In this way four grades
or tones of colour and light and shade can be made in a picture.
Mica-leaves can be made into one by using mastic cement. Rub the edges
with emery-paper to roughen them.

As I have already intimated, the materials for this work are so cheap
and the process so easy, that all which I here assert may be at once
verified by the outlay of a few shillings, with a few hours of time. It
is, in another form, the same thing as arranging lights around a statue
in a dark room, but adapted to all kinds of pictures.

As a Latin poet has declared, “It is an easy thing to add to arts,”
when a beginning has once been made (“_Inventis facile semper aliquid
addere_”), so I will add to this a curious discovery in glass made by
me in Venice a few years ago. I was being taken by Sir AUSTIN LAYARD
over his celebrated glass-factory. It was he who, with the aid of
Sir WILLIAM DRAKE, _first_ revived the almost forgotten manufacture
of glass in Murano. While standing with him by a furnace watching a
workman skilfully forming ornaments in glass, it suddenly occurred to
me that the Chinese were said to have possessed in remote times an
art, now lost, of making vases or bottles which appeared externally
to be quite plain, but on the surface of which, when red wine was
poured in, patterns or inscriptions appeared of the same colour. It at
once occurred to me that this could be perfectly effected by making a
bottle, on the interior of which the ground should be of considerable
thickness, say half-an-inch, while the inscription or pattern would be
no thicker than ordinary window-glass. Then if the whole exterior were
to be lightly ground on a wheel or sandpapered, the difference between
ground and pattern would not be perceptible until red wine or some
highly coloured fluid were poured in, when the pattern would at once
show itself.

Sir AUSTIN LAYARD was so much struck by the suggestion that he sent at
once for his foreman, Signore Castellani, who said that he had heard
of such bottles, but always supposed it was a fable. He, however, at
once admitted that they could be made as I proposed, but added that
the expense would be so great as to render the invention practically

It has, however, since occurred to me that such bottles could be made,
and cheaply, as follows:--Take a Florence flask, and divide it into two
parts with a diamond, using a saw for the bottom. Then on the sides
within place the ground. It could be made of silicate of soda and
powdered glass or flint, or even of white wax, hardened with powdered
glass. Close the bottle with silicate, and grind the whole.

When any glass has been broken and mended, the fracture still
discernible may be thus concealed by grinding the surface, and in many
cases by surrounding it with a ring or tube of metal, also by one of
silicate, or with an ornament formed with it.

A glass stopper when too large can be easily filed down to fit. Should
the neck of the bottle be too narrow, it can also be enlarged by the
same process. When the rim of a goblet is fractured, it can be ground
down on a grindstone. I have done it with a file.

A pane of glass can be somewhat rudely cut into shape with a pair of
strong scissors, under water. In this, as in other things, practice
leads to perfection.

An old method of effectually closing bottles of wine was as
follows:--The edge of the opening on the top was ground down on a
stone, and a small disc of glass was exactly fitted to it. Heat was
then applied till both were in partial fusion and the cover was welded
to the bottle. A little powdered glass would aid the fusion, or it
could be effected with silicate without heating. The process is the
same as using glass stoppers, rather sunk in, and sealing up with

A broken champagne bottle is not easily mended, but I have seen one
curiously utilised. The bottom only had been broken, and it was cut off
round and evenly with a file. Within it there hung from the cork by a
cord a very large nail or small bolt of iron. Thus prepared, it made a
capital and appropriate dinner-bell. Here in Italy I have often seen
bells made of crockery or terra-cotta; their tone is better than would
be supposed.



    “_In human industry, there is on an average a loss of fifty per
    cent. in labour or material._”--Observations on Art, by CHARLES G.

There is no country in the world in which the art of mending is so
much required as in the United States of North America. The reason for
this is the extraordinary and sudden changes in temperature, causing
the expansion and contraction of cells and fibre, especially in wood,
which results in cracks. Thus seasoned furniture and carvings, which
have remained unchanged for centuries, it may be for a thousand years,
in any part of Europe, shrink and split very often within a month after
being placed in a drawing or dining room in Boston or Philadelphia, as
I know by sad experience. Thus I have known a very beautiful Italian
mandoline, three hundred years old, richly inlaid with ivory, to so
shrink and warp in America that a professional mender declared that
nothing could be done with it. The sounding-board had curled up like a
scroll and split, and the mosaic or inlaying had fallen out in bits.

In such a case, carefully detach the warped piece or pieces, and dampen
the concave side carefully with a sponge till it resumes its flatness
or usual form. When this is attained, take very thin shavings of a
firm wood, as thin as they can be shaved, and glue them transversely,
or _grain across grain_, to the under or plain side of the board. This
will probably prevent all warping in future, especially if the best
mastic and fish-glue is employed. It may here be noted that where the
shavings cannot be obtained, thin parchment or even note-paper may be
used, and that good, strong varnish, or not too thin, may be used for a
binder. There are many cases in which parchment or paper are preferable
to wood in repairing, as being less liable to warp or crack.

[Illustration: _Patterns cut from Wood-Shavings._]

WOOD-SHAVINGS, which are as yet but little utilised in art, have,
however, before them “a great future.” Combined with glue, or other
binders, they can be made, even under the hand-roller, into boards,
which have the advantage that they can be moulded, curved, or turned
to suit many emergencies which would require a great deal of saw or
carving work.

It is not unusual to employ veneers, or very thin sheets of wood, as
a guard across the grain where shrinking is to be apprehended, as in
tablets for painting on or panels, and it is a great pity that this
very cheap precaution is so little used. But there are very few cases
in which shavings are not as applicable, and they have the great
advantage of being obtainable wherever there is a plane and wood.

Holes or defects in wood--for example, in American shingle roofs or the
clap-boarded sides of houses--can often be more cheaply and readily
repaired with shavings and glue (into which oil is infused) than by any
other means. And it may be observed that such a coating of shavings
and glue, laid on to a new roof, is the cheapest and most effective
protector against rain or sun or frost.

In certain work wood-shavings can be advantageously combined with paper
to give a solid, smooth surface and firm body. Here the paper-paste,
with or without sawdust, is first forced into the cavities, and the
shavings superadded.

Shavings and glue are excellent for the temporary repair of boats,
and if the mending be _properly executed_, it will be as durable as
the original wood. It would be an easy matter indeed to make a canoe
entirely of shavings and glue. If the hand-roller be well used and
thoroughly applied, the result will be a very firm fabric.

[Illustration: _Pattern to be cut out of Shavings and applied with Glue
to a Panel._]

It may be worth knowing in the wilderness, that where a backwoodsman
has a _plane_ (and he can always make one if he has a chisel, which,
again, can be made out of a knife-blade) he can make shavings, and
with these and some kind of _binder_--even clay--he can lay a dry, hard
floor, when perhaps boards are not to be obtained. The substratum may
be of beaten clay or stone. If of sufficient thickness and well rolled,
such a floor as this would be impervious to damp.

Any surface can be very well _veneered_ with shavings and glue.
Smooth the surface by pressure or rolling, and when dry glass-paper
it. Veneers are often not to be had; shavings may be got in every
carpenter’s shop.

Not only very strong and elastic canes, but even _bows_ of a superior
quality, can be made of shavings. The Indians in Pacific America make
the latter by pasting and pressing one shaving on another with great
care. It may be understood that where the grain, as in a piece of wood,
runs _altogether_ in one way, it will split with the grain. But where
it is not uniform or connected, and is very powerfully incorporated
by pressure with a good binder, we may easily have a very elastic and
tough fabric, not so likely to split as wood. Thus we can make from
hickory shavings a wood less liable to warp or split than the original
wood itself.

Wood-shavings and glue are admirably adapted to repair broken boxes
or any other articles of wood, especially for smoothing over roughly
mended surfaces and covering knot-holes or other defects. In all cases
when possible use the roller, and when pasting one piece on the other
cross the grains.

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, such as guitars, violins, and mandolins, are
very easily repaired with shavings and glue; and this is, indeed, in
many cases, the very best means of reparation, since, while a piece
of wood may or may not injure the tone, the shavings always give a
good vibration. And where it is quite beyond the power of any ordinary
amateur, say a lady, to set in a piece of wood or apply one, or to
get it of a proper thickness, anybody with care can paste on thin
shavings--the thinner the better--till the defect is repaired. In
many cases parchment or paper will answer just as well, and I have
myself thus perfectly mended violins which were apparently beyond
all bettering, and got to the stage of _lasciate ogni speranza_, or

There are, however, many cases of badly fractured objects in which the
owner gives up hope, because it seems _impossible to make a beginning_.
Now, “whatever can be made can be mended” is true of everything except
morals, and even in these there is more to be done than men wot of. And
in a great number of these cases parchment strips, thin linen tape, or
especially wood-shavings, can be used with success. Bring the broken
edges together if they warp apart, and attach them with the strip and
strongest cement; that is, with small pieces of the “fastener.” Do not
attempt to do everything at once. When the edges are united and the
_binder_ dried, fill in all crevices or holes with a suitable paste
or “filler”--not too much at once, in certain cases. Then, as will
generally be required, cover the surface with thin shavings and binder;
as it dries, file or glass-paper it smooth. The shavings will make,
with mastic and fish-glue, in many cases, a far better repair than
could be effected with a piece of wood or parchment, because they will
never _split_, like the former, if they are applied lying transversely
or crossways, nor stretch like the latter.

It may depend, in many cases, on what _wood_ the shavings consist of.
As I have observed, even in the bush a plane can be made with a chisel
or a piece of a table-knife blade, set in a wooden block; but elsewhere
any carpenter will easily supply what is wanted, _ad libitum_.

The paste or filler of wood-powder or paper-pulp will be found
described in other chapters.


_A curious kind of ornament_ can be made by cutting out decorative
patterns, human figures, animals, flowers, &c., from shavings with
scissors or pen-knives, then glueing them on a smooth soft board.
Apply as much pressure as possible, so as to make them sink into the
wood, and when dry coat the whole with varnish, till an even surface
is established. Rub over the dried surface with finest glass or
emery-paper, and then smooth patiently with the palm of the hand. If
this be well executed the result will be a perfect imitation of inlaid
wood, although it is really an art by itself, which, I believe, is my
own invention. Thin veneers may also be used instead of shavings. Ebony
or walnut thus _appliqué_ on _larch_ or _holly_ make exquisite work.

This kind of ornament has great advantage over inlaid wood or
marquetry, for the pieces of which it consist are far less liable to
be detached or peel off, while it looks quite as beautiful. And be it
observed that, laid with a transverse grain, it prevents warping and
strengthens the ground, while inlaying weakens it; for to make the bed
for inlaying or mosaic we must excavate the bed till it is extremely
thin and liable to warp, whereas in shaving-work we make a light but
very strengthening addition.

A single experiment will suffice to convince the reader of the merits
of this very useful, elegant, and novel art. It is specially applicable
to ornamenting albums and book-covers, where it may be used even on


It is often a very difficult matter to obtain a thin panel or
strips and do all the work properly when we wish to put into shape
a warped panel, let us say of an old picture, which is on the point
of splitting. The inserting screws is very dangerous. I myself have
inadvertently thus made a fearful blemish in a Madonna’s face. But if
we use _shavings_ there is no such danger. Wet the back till the panel
is flat, and then _gradually_ glue on the shavings across the grain.
This is as well done with small bits as large. With a picture it would
be well to continue the coating to the thickness of one-third of an
inch or more, but a very thin coating will go far to prevent warping or
bending. The thinnest panels or veneers may be thus “backed up” into
solid boards. In all cases where practicable, use heavy pressure on the


    “_Among the thousand mad schemes which were proposed by projectors
    was one for making sawdust into boards._”--History of the South Sea

Very few people, even among workmen and artists, are aware of what
remarkable and curious restoration the most decayed pieces of wood are
capable. We will, however, begin with the simplest repairing, or that
of furniture.

When articles of furniture have been strongly and properly made of oak
or other hard wood, and as properly used, they will last for centuries;
and should some unforeseen accident take away legs or arms, they can be
perfectly replaced, especially in the admirable old-fashioned German
objects of the kind, which were all put together with wooden pins or
by means of mortise and tenon, so that, when need required, they could
be packed as boards;--nor were they the less elegant for this. But if
furniture be simply sawed from soft, cheap deal or poplar, and merely
glued together (as most cheap furniture made in England is), it will
soon warp and break up, and all the mending in the world will not make
it better than it was when new. Glue is, therefore, the great material
for most woodwork, and, as I shall show, in two very different forms.

Having a broken chair-leg, which can, however, be fitted together,
first prepare your glue in a proper kettle--that is, a _balneum mariæ_,
or one kettle in another. In the outer is only boiling water; in the
inner the glue, mixed with water. The reason for this is, that glue,
when softened with water, dries up very rapidly under the action of air
or fire, while the softer heat of water keeps it, so to speak, “alive.”

But if, while the glue is soft, we pour, say, a teaspoonful of nitric
acid into half-a-pint of glue, it will remain soft a much longer
time--which is a valuable secret to many, especially where large, broad
surfaces of veneers are to be glued on, and where, the process being
slow, it is desirable for the adhesive to remain soft for many minutes.
And here I would mention that the acid-glue will remain in a liquid
state for one year if tightly corked up in a bottle. Its only defect is
a disagreeable, pungent smell.

This glue can be improved by being made as follows:--Take of best glue
three parts, place them in eight parts of water, and allow the mixture
to soak some hours. Take half a part of hydrochloric or muriatic
acid and three-quarters of a part of sulphate of zinc; add to these
the glue, and keep the whole at a moderately high temperature till
fluid--that is to say, boil the glue as usual in a _balneum mariæ_
or in hot water, after soaking it all night in water. Then stir in
the hydrochloric (or muriatic) acid and sulphate of zinc. This is a
first-class glue. Keep it in a bottle with an oiled cork; any other
stopper would adhere. But for all ordinary work the glue, with nitric
acid, will suffice, as it holds with great tenacity to anything.

This glue, which keeps liquid for a long time, and which holds without
scaling off, as common glue often does, may also be made with _very
strong_ vinegar. The latter, in fact, amounts to the same thing in
most European countries, but especially in the United States, where,
according to the New York _Tribune_, there is literally no vinegar
sold or made, save from sulphuric acid and water. Perhaps when mankind
shall have reached a higher stage of civilisation, all dealers will
be compelled by law to place on every article of food sold the list
of ingredients of which it is composed. We should then know how much
oleomargarine passes for butter, and what proportion of “delicious
conserves” are manufactured from apples alone or turnips.

Observe that in glueing ordinary wood together the two pieces to be
attached should be gradually but very well _heated_ first. This renders
them more inclined to “take” the glue. This is applicable to other

Also note that when two surfaces have been made to adhere with ordinary
water-glue, should they come apart when cold, it is very difficult to
make them unite again. But this is not the case with acid-glue. And if
you have such surfaces which will not unite, wash them with nitric acid
or very strong vinegar, and the glue then applied will “take.” Also
observe that the acid-glue is far stronger than the common kind.

Having the broken leg fitted, first with a narrow gimlet or brad-awl
make a hole crossing the fracture, then glue the pieces together, and
before the glue dries put a screw or two through the hole; _i.e._,
_screw_ the pieces together. This will hold perfectly, if you will sink
the head of the screw in the wood, smooth it with a file, then putty it
over and paint it.

It seems strange that anything can be so mended as to be stronger
than before; yet this is literally true as regards the broken leg of
a chair, a cane, a beam, the mast or spar of a vessel, or any similar
long piece of wood. This is effected as follows:--Cut the two separated
pieces into two exactly fitting “steps” or mortises, as shown in this


Fasten these with glue and screws; or, better still, by adding to both
two sliding, tightly fitting ring-tubes, or one long one. This will
actually make the stick stronger than it was at first. The rings should
be covered with paper, glued, and then painted and varnished.

The processes of glueing and screwing are applicable to most fractures
of furniture. Where a piece of wood is broken away, it, or a similar
piece, must be inserted. When wood is warped it may be straightened
by applying wet towels. Observe that if a flat panel is warped thus--
[Illustration] you must wet the upper or concave side, put it under
heavy weight, and as soon as it becomes straight, screw it down with
transverse strips. Drawers which are made from badly seasoned wood
are a grief to the heart. They warp and stick. When you find that
such is the case you can save yourself much annoyance by examining
them, planing away the obstructions, and nailing transverse strips of
wood across; that is to say, pieces in which _the grain_ of the strip
crosses that of the wood. Very good and well-seasoned English furniture
often warps badly in India; therefore it should be thus protected.
This can in most cases be better done with strips of metal. In large
wardrobes, presses, or chests, where there are broad and often thin
panels, this precaution should always be taken. As I write I have just
seen two exquisitely painted and valuable pictures on panel, one of
which had curved and split in two, while the other was badly warped for
want of such a precaution, which would have cost only a penny’s worth
of strip and screws and half-an-hour’s work to save them.

It will very often happen in mending furniture that neither nail, glue,
nor screw can be relied on. In such case bore with a suitable gimlet
and pass wire through the hole. Flexible wire twisted in two strands,
with the ends properly secured, say to the head of a screw, all being
sunk beneath the level, will hold almost anything.

Frames for looking-glasses or pictures often “spring” at the joints.
In such cases a screw with acidulated glue will make them permanently

Always put handles to drawers. The vile invention or device of using
the key for a handle is by far too common. Metallic handles of brass
are preferable to wooden knobs. Keys are often lost, or else break.
The bottom of a drawer should always be secured by screws.

When the bottom of a drawer, as frequently happens, shrinks and becomes
too short, so that there is a long opening, the latter should be filled
with a strip of wood. The chief cause why modern furniture is apt to
become loose or separate is chiefly due to its being made either of
unseasoned or soft wood, such as weak deal or poplar, which absorbs
moisture from the air and then dries and shrinks, or because it is made
of too many pieces only glued together, and that with cheap, bad glue.

RESTORING DECAYED WOOD.--The worst cases of decay or of worm-eaten
wood can be perfectly restored in this manner:--Take fine sawdust of
the same kind of wood as the original. Let it be as fine as possible,
either cut with a refined saw or powdered in a mortar. Sift it. Then
with acidulated glue, or else plain, clear, white Salisbury glue for
light wood, make a paste, well mixed. With this you can fill up holes
(using a spatula or flexible knife or ivory paper-knife). But, what
is more, you can thus make a very strong _artificial wood_ which can
be moulded into any form, and when dry polished by cutting over the
surface with a chisel or flat gouge, and using a file or glass-paper to
finish. In fact, you can mould or model figures with this wood-paste by
itself. Putty is generally used for such repairs, but the wood-paste is
like wood, and quite as durable.

If you have a mould of plaster of Paris, boil it in oil, clean it, and
then oil it. With the wood-paste you can make ornaments which can be
applied to plain wood surfaces.

Splints, fractures, cracks, holes, corners broken away, are all easily
restored with wood-paste. In moulding it the fingers should be oiled to
prevent its sticking.

Any kind of dry sawdust can thus be converted into a paste, which, when
dry, becomes wood. It may be very much hardened under a hydraulic-press
or by a wooden hand-roller. Housekeepers should use this composition
for filling up rat-holes, or any kind of crevices in furniture, or
panels, or doors and walls, especially where such cracks harbour

It would be perfectly possible to construct an entire house of such
wood-cement, and one which would be perfectly durable, or even more so
than wood, since beams and planks thus made never crack, split, nor
warp. With it the boldest vaulting and arch work can be more easily
made than in stone or with wood, as the latter is usually worked.
As builders in Turkey form domes by making circles of clay or mud,
and gradually add to the first a smaller one, so by using wood-paste
the largest space could be covered or domed over without building
a scaffolding. There are many places in the world where (as in the
prairies of America, Russia, and Hungary) large timber is wanting,
but where small wood for sawdust is more available, and yet where, as
cattle abound, glue would be very cheap. This material deserves more
serious attention than it has ever received.

More than twenty years after I had invented, or at least projected and
put in practice, this method of making artificial wood, I found the
following in the _Manuel Général du Modelage_, par F. Goupil; Paris, Le

“To make vases, take fine dry sawdust and pass it through a sieve. It
may be made into a paste with a compound of turpentine, resin, and wax.
Or mix the adhesive with five parts of best strong white glue (_colle
de Flandre_) to one part of fish-glue. Melt them separately, ... pour
them together, boil to a proper consistency, and mix with the sawdust.
By this process figures can be cast which, when finished by hand,
exactly resemble carved wood.”

Another recipe is to take 750 grammes of strong glue to 1½ kilogramme
of gall nuts. To be mixed cold. Mix in hot water with sawdust.

Since writing the foregoing I have found the following recipe in a MS.
of 1780, a family heirloom kindly lent me by Miss Roma Lister:--

       *       *       *       *       *

“_To cast Wood in Moulds as fine as Ivory, of a fragrant Smell, and
indifferent Colours._--Dry Lime Tree wood sawdust in a pan by a gentle
fire, and beat it to a fine powder in a stone mortar. Sift it through
Cambric, and keep it in a dry place free from dust. Then add to an
equal quantity of Gum Tragacanth and Gum Arabic 4 times the quantity
of Parchment Glue. Boil them in Pump Water, and filter through Linen.
Stir into it the Wood powder till it becomes of the substance of a
thick pastry; stir it all together, and set it in a glazed pan in hot
sand, for the moisture to evaporate till it be fit for casting. Mix
your colours with the Paste, and to give it a Scent put Oil of Cloves
or Roses or the like, which, if you please, you may mix with powdered
Amber. Anoint the mould with Oil of Almonds, and put your paste into
it. Let it dry for 4 or 5 days, then take off your mould, and the
Images will be as hard as Ivory. You may cut, turn, carve, and plane
this wood, and it will have a fine scent. The mould may be Plaster of
Paris, but it were better made of metal.”

I would add to this, that where heavy pressure or hand-rolling can be
applied this becomes really hard. Also note that any light, dry wood
of fine texture can be dried and powdered for this purpose. The paste,
even with common fine glue, can be used for very fine repairing. By
sifting and pulverising, the dust may be made as fine as flour. A
little calcined and powdered glass adds to its strength.

To make _panels_ for furniture, walls, or boxes, take firstly a thin
panel of seasoned wood, fasten two strips of sheet-tin across the back
to prevent warping, and make or apply the cast to this. Very beautiful
work can thus be produced very cheaply.

It may be here observed that this principle of mixing a powdered
substance with glue or gum or an adhesive runs through all the arts of
mending. The powder of cocoa-nut shells, slate, of paper, plaster of
Paris, of leather, clay, lime, fine sand, and many other substances,
can all be combined with adhesives, acids, or chemical solvents in
such a manner as to form what may be called generically _cements_, or
substances, or _pastes_, which become hard. Any glue or gum, or liquid
which will make two surfaces adhere, can be mixed with most organic or
inorganic hard substances in powder so as to form a paste which, when
dry, forms a solid, hard substance, because the grains of the powder
are thereby cemented together. Most of these yield to the action of
water, but there are a few which resist both water and fire, all of
which will be described in this work.

Broken ebony can be filled in cracks with a very neat and dainty
paste or cement made as follows:--Take dried rose-leaves, or any
others as soft, steep them in just enough water to soften them, add
of gum-tragacanth and gum-arabic just enough to make a paste, and
sufficient ivory black to give it an ebony colour. Macerate the whole
in a mortar. In the East a few drops of otto of roses or of geranium
are added. From this heads are made, also medallions, or any other
small objects. The composition sets very hard, and much resembles
ebony. I have made many small objects of it myself, and can testify
to its excellence. It is in this manner that the black rosaries from
Constantinople are made.

A very good cement for filling cracks in furniture or other woodwork
is made as follows:--One part of finely powdered resin and two parts
of yellow wax are melted together, and to this is added two parts of
finely pulverised ochre, or other suitable colouring earthy substance.
This is an excellent cement in all respects, except that it yields
to great heat. For all such repairing sawdust and glue is much to be

In repairing furniture, remember the screws hold much more firmly if
they are just dipped in boiling beeswax or turpentine. If you are not
accustomed to screwing or nailing, just make a hole with a brad-awl,
else you will find the screw or nail going out of the side of the box,
or in some other undesired direction.

Clamps, or pieces of wood connected by screws, ties, or elastic bands,
are indispensable in much glueing pieces together. They are, however,
easily made. A good clamp can be made by bending over the two ends of a
strong piece of wire. Hammer the ends into the wood.

Glue is more elastic when mixed with a little glycerine. This should
be borne in mind when mixing glue with sawdust to form artificial
wood, and, in fact, in many manufactures and combinations where it is
specially desirous to have a certain degree of toughness or flexibility
in the object made.

To utilise waste matter is allied to mending, which is only preventing
waste. For this purpose common wood-shavings may be used for a pretty
art. Take good shavings of any wood, and after moistening them with
glue or gum tragacanth and arabic, press them flat. Trim them with
scissors into leaves, or make them into flowers, and attach them
together. Then pour over them liquid plaster of Paris, in which there
is gum-arabic and alum dissolved. Take a bush, or plant without leaves,
and gum the leaves to it or to its twigs. Cover bare places with the
gypsum. When dry varnish the whole. A Professor HEIGELIN, in Stuttgart,
once had an exhibition of such work. Frames can be decorated in this
manner. Paint, gilding, and enamel, or bronze powders, can, of course,
be applied. Shavings combined with weak glue submitted to pressure form
artificial wood or boards, which can be improved by further combination
with waste-paper. Made with a solution of alum it is fireproof. Its
strength will be in proportion to the pressure applied. It can often
be employed in repairing when suitable wood is wanting, and has the
advantage that it can be turned to any shape.

The reader can easily satisfy himself by experiment that these
artificial woods made from sawdust or shavings, combined with
adhesives, are very easy to manufacture, very cheap, and, when properly
made, extremely strong. When strong pressure or rolling can be
applied, the quantity of adhesive may be diminished. Linen or muslin
rags, cotton-wool, or any textile fabric can be added to the shavings,
as well as waste-paper of all kinds. Anything fibrous or stringy will
aid in the binding.

This subject may be studied in detail in a work entitled _Die
Verwerthung der Holtzabfälle_--The rendering valuable of Refuse-Wood,
such as Shavings, Refuse Dye-Wood, &c., showing how they may be
converted to Artificial Wood, Fuel, Chemicals, Explosives, &c.--by
ERNST HUBBARD; Vienna, price 3 marks.

Wood of all kinds is in America sawed into such thin veneers that they
are used to serve as wall-paper, being attached with paste. When damp
they bend like paper. Such veneer is very useful for repairing wooden

Common putty is not always to be trusted in for repairing wood. It
sometimes shrinks, and is never very hard. The glue with glycerine and
sawdust or cocoa-nut dust is preferable.

“Scratches and chance cuts may be remedied by merely melting or washing
and rubbing in with cold water. But for most small defects a _filler_
is used. This is a kind of paint or liquid cement, the object of which
is to fill up the pores of certain coarse woods and make the surface
fine. Soft wax, flour, and varnish are used for this purpose.”

Any dealer in paints and varnishes will supply a filler for any special

Staining or colouring wood is an important part of repairing. “Oiling
alone is a kind of colouring, for all oiled wood becomes much darker
in a short time.”[2]

Soda dissolved in water gives to oak wood a much darker tone. Dark tea
and alum is also useful, and still better very strong coffee. Also
porter or beer mixed with umber. Also a decoction of walnut-leaves
boiled down. In using these or any other colours the following rules
must be strictly observed:--(1.) Use a sponge or brush, and do not
apply the dye freely or pour it on, as you will run great risk of
warping the wood or making it split. (2.) Exercise the greatest care in
drying it near a fire. (3.) Do not expect to colour all at once by a
profuse application. However light the colour may seem, always when it
is dry rub off the colour with a rag or chamois-skin, and then make a
second wash. This process will make the dye strike in deeper and last

STEVENS’ Stains, also those of MANDER, are very good and strong. They
generally require dilution.

Ammonia is much used to give wood a dark rich colour. Wood thus
treated, if afterwards exposed to the smoke of a wood fire, assumes
a very ancient appearance. Bichromate of potash with water is a good
dark dye, but it must be carefully handled, as it is very poisonous
and injurious to clothing. It is used to give a waterproof quality to
certain cements.

Good writing-ink is a very good black dye. When it is quite dry, oil,
rub, and polish it, and the ink will resist a great deal of wetting.

It should be remembered that with ink, as with dyes, there should
always be at least two applications, and that the first should be
very thoroughly dried, if possible, in a strong light, though not in
sunshine, before the second is laid on. Three coats of blackest ink
well dried in, then rubbed in well, and finally oiled, form an almost
waterproof cover.

When panels of marquetry or of inlaid wood of different colours are
broken away or require to be replaced, it can be done in the following
manner:--Take a panel of very firm fine white wood--holly is the best;
next to it Swiss or German larch--draw on it your pattern, and then
with a penknife go over all the pattern, cutting into the panel about
a quarter of an inch, or rather less--in no case far enough to cut
through. Then carefully fill all these lines with a firm cement, and
let it dry well. Then with a dye--not with paint--color each piece
appropriately. The cement and lines will prevent the dye from spreading
from piece to piece. This is known as Venetian marquetry. When
finished, apply _Soehnée_ varnish, and rub down very carefully by hand.
It is a very beautiful and easy work, not to be distinguished when well
done from real inlaying. Very cheap and plain old furniture can be
easily made very elegant by having panels, &c., of this work applied.
The reader may begin with a small box or three-legged stool, working
directly on the wood, and will then probably be encouraged to proceed.
Dark brown patterns on light yellow wood look well.

This work is very easy and elegant, very little made, and may be
therefore profitable. Any kind of light or white wood, such as deal or
pine, may be used for common decoration. Cheap violins and guitars are
sometimes made into handsome ornaments for rooms by this process. For
designs for this purpose consult the Manuals of Design, Wood-Carving,
and Leather-Work, by the Author (Whittaker & Co., No. 2 White Hart
Street, London, E.C.).

Marquetry may also be mended by making and colouring wood-paste, in
which case prepare the ground with great care, by roughening, to hold
the glue; also by using coloured cements, such as bread, well worked
with powder and glycerine-glue.

It does not seem to occur to many people--even to those living in the
country--that there is a great deal of strong, plain, useful furniture
which can be easily made at home at no very great expense, boards of
good quality being cheap enough. With a few lessons from an expert, or
even with the study of a good elementary manual of cabinetmaking, any
amateur can succeed. Whoever can make a good box can make an antique
chair, and this can, however plain, be carved, stained, or marquetried
into beauty; but let him beware of sawed curves.

Where there are worms in furniture or other wood, they should always
be very promptly exterminated, else they will destroy it in time.
To remove them, dissolve 2 drachms of corrosive sublimate in 2 oz.
of methylated spirit and 2 oz. of water, to be applied freely with
a feather or brush. This is an unfailing remedy; but the mixture is
poisonous, and therefore should be kept labelled out of harm’s way
(_Work_, Sept. 1892).

In restoring or repairing woodwork we must have some knowledge not only
of paints, varnishes, putties, and filling, but also of agents which
prevent organic change or are applicable to peculiar accidents. One
of the principal of these is known as _knotting_. Its properties and
general nature are freely explained in the following article from _The
Decorator_, Sept. 1892:--

       *       *       *       *       *

“‘Knotting,’ or, as it is usually written, _Patent Knotting_, is
a quick-drying, semi-transparent fluid. It is made from naphtha
and shellac; hence its quick-drying nature. The knots of woodwork,
especially pine, contain much resin, which gradually exudes from the
surface. This resin will speedily darken, and ultimately destroy, the
covering film of oil paint with which woodwork is usually coated. The
object of coating knots in woodwork with ‘patent knotting composition’
is to seal up, so to term it, the resin. In the earlier history of
house-painting processes a mixture of red lead and strong glue-size,
applied warm, was often used. The chief point in view is to stop the
‘cause,’ but without objectionable ‘effect;’ therefore the thinnest
perceptible covering--so long as it is effectual--is the best. The
_patent knotting_ of commerce is the article now generally purchased
and used. The knots are given one or two _bare_ coatings--according to
the nature of the knot, and the conscience of the workman. The best
knotting is the colour of dark oak varnish; the worst is the blackest
and dirtiest-looking. It always pays to have the best knotting, since
‘black knotting’ requires an extra coat of paint to cover the dark
patches which ‘grin through’ any light tints. For the best work it is
usually advisable--especially when the woodwork has to be finished, and
perhaps hand-polished, in ‘ivory-white’ enamel--to have the knots cut
out with a chisel or gouge, then fill up with lead ‘filling-up’ in
distemper. I recently had to have the door of an elaborately decorated
drawing-room so treated, since, despite being fresh knotted, the resin
began to discolour the work, which had received some six coats of paint
and enamel, ere the room was furnished--a very annoying and costly
matter. Very occasionally knots are gilded over with best gold-leaf;
this is generally conceded to be an effectual plan to adopt, when
gouging is not resorted to, for finest work. Knotting woodwork is,
therefore, not an insignificant detail of house-painting, especially
when we are dealing with a door-side; that alone, when finished in
hand-polished enamel, may cost a ten-pound note to produce. ‘Tin-paint’
will do for common priming; good linseed oil is the chief element
required. All new woodwork requires three coats of good lead and oil
paint before standing any time--viz., priming and two after-coats. This
is known as ‘builders’ finish.’ When permanently decorated it usually
requires ‘getting up’ to a proper surface, and two or three more coats.”

       *       *       *       *       *

It is sometimes an advantage to “gouge”--_i.e._, to cut--out a bad knot
and fill the cavity with wood, wood-paste, or _carton-pierre_.

A very beautiful stain can be given to wood by rubbing it with nitric
or sulphuric acid, and exposing it to the heat of a fire. In this way
American hickory can be made to look like rosewood. Pine becomes red,
which grows darker with increased heat.

MENDING FURNITURE.--There is but one rule for repairing creaky chairs
and tables with loose legs. They must be _carefully_ taken apart,
which can be done with chisels, a knife, and hammer, and then glued
and screwed or put together again as they were originally made. The
old-fashioned rounds or rungs of chairs, now so seldom seen, were a
great aid to strength and durability.

I have already remarked that when a drawer in a bureau table is
troublesome by continually sticking or catching, take it out, find
where it rubs, and plane away the obtrusive portion. If it is made of
badly seasoned, green, warping wood, nail across it strips of tin. To
which I add that doors of closets, cabinets, &c., which are shrunk must
have strips of wood glued to their edges. In some cases strips of paper
will do as a temporary substitute.

It is no exaggeration whatever to declare that two or three centuries
ago the slight and trashily made article of furniture was a great
exception, while at the present day it is the well-made, durable
article which forms the rarity--to the great shame, be it said,
firstly, of all furniture-makers, and, secondly, to fashionable
“taste,” which prefers slightness to strength.

This trashy and flimsy lightness is vastly to the profit of the
cabinetmaker, since he can thus utilise the cheapest and smallest
pieces of worthless wood by turning them into supports for light
_étagères_ or shelves, cross-backs and legs of spider-like little
chairs, and all parts of small curved sofas, which are to be duly
puttied, French polished, or completely hidden in velveteen or rep.
It is not unusual to see what is considered a handsomely furnished
room in which there is not one absolutely well-made or strong article
which would bear careful examination or turning up. It is a pitiful
sight indeed to see a load of such furniture on its way from the
cabinetmakers, or the mill where it is sawed out by steam, to the
place where it is to be veneered or painted, glazed, and clothed into
elegance. The pieces of refuse pine wood and American greenish-yellow
poplar stuck together with glue, and as few short nails as possible,
look so shammy and shabby! I have wondered, in beholding them, at
the marvellous boldness of their makers, who could deliberately
calculate the time that such stuff would endure before its _débacle_.
And as it is all destined to be broken and mended sometime or
other, it is the more necessary that the art of repairing should be
studied. Unfortunately, badly seasoned deal cannot be repaired into
well-seasoned oak. Yet he who will take the pains to ascertain the
price of the latter will be amazed to learn that so few people have it
made into good, solid, strong furniture. “It is not _there_ that the
expense comes in.” If the reader, having some sense or taste in art,
would make his own furniture, employing an assistant at six shillings
a day to do the rough sawing and planing, he would find that he could
have strong, substantial furniture; and if he would add to this so much
knowledge of panel-carving as he could acquire in a few lessons, he
might make it beautiful.

A CEMENT FOR WOOD is made as follows:--

  Caseine                     10
  Borax                        5

This is carefully worked into a thickish milk-like mass. It may be
used as a glue for wood or as a paste for paper. It admits of many
modifications. To make a very good waterproof cement for wood, as
well as other purposes, take this cement when it shall have hardened,
or after it has been applied, and wash it over frequently with a very
strong extract of gall-apples. This forms, according to LEHNER, an
insoluble union with caseine.

A CEMENT MUCH EMPLOYED IN CHINA to combine and make woodwork,
basket-work, pasteboard, &c., waterproof is made as follows:--

  Slacked lime               100
  Stirred ox-blood            75
  Alum                         2

This is commended as being very strong and durable. It is probable that
a slight increase of the alum in solution, or an addition of strong
infusion of gall-apples, would improve it.


  Strong solution of glue     10
  Linseed-oil varnish          5
  Oxide of lead                1

Boil together for ten minutes. This cement must not be brought into
connection with lye (LEHNER).

A good, strong, cheap cement for joining wood with metal or stone is
made with

  Carpenters’ glue            50
  Sifted wood-ashes          100

While the glue is soft stir into it the wood-ashes in greater or lesser
quantity, according to their quality and fineness, till a syrupy mass
is formed. Clay can also be combined with this mixture to make casts.

Common _peat_ of fine quality (for there are different kinds or degrees
of it), carefully cleaned from sticks and fibres, combined with common
glue infused freely with nitric acid, submitted to strong pressure, is
said to form a valuable substitute for wood, which may be used not only
for repairing, filling chinks in trees, making up decayed timber, &c.,
but also to form blocks and planks.

I have elsewhere mentioned that shavings are utilised in Germany.
Combined with glue, infused with glycerine, and submitted to pressure,
they form boards which are even less brittle than many which are in
ordinary use. The peculiar advantage of this artificial timber is the
limitless length of the boards which can be thus made, which is often a
great desideratum in flooring, or indeed in any building where piecing
should be avoided. A canoe can thus be made on another as mould, in
which case the shaving-cement is to be hardened by rollers. There is a
book on this subject, elsewhere mentioned.

It may be observed that, as long and broad timber becomes every year
more rare and valuable, artificial timber from smaller plants must
certainly take its place.

WHITEWASH FOR WOOD is rendered more durable and glossy by the addition
of liquid glue, well stirred in. It is still further improved by the
addition of milk. This lasts so much longer than common wash that it
is in the end perhaps ten times as cheap. When well made it has been
known, when applied to the exterior of certain Government buildings in
Washington, U.S.A., to last for seven years. If colouring matter, such
as umber, be added, let the latter be mixed separately with the glue,
and very thoroughly, before it is joined to the lime. The addition of
a few eggs to the mixture will improve it. The lime prepared with the
following forms a still better and stronger wash, which is well worth
the extra expense:--

  Glue                 60
  Linseed-oil varnish  20

The varnish, while _hot_, is mixed with the boiling glue, and it is
to be used at once. This is (LEHNER) useful to coat and caulk casks,
especially those in which such fluids as highly rectified spirits of
wine are carried. Be it observed that the hotter the mixture is when
applied the more deeply does it penetrate, yet the less is in the end


  Slacked lime           50
  Flour                 100
  Linseed-oil varnish    15

WOODWORK which is to be under water or much exposed to rain may be
cemented with the following:--

  Calcined lime          10
  Flint sand             15
  Iron (powder filings)   5
  Ochre                  20
  Brick-dust             20

The powder must be well mixed by shaking, and, just before use, to be
mixed with water.

The following may be used for JOINTS IN TIMBERS, holes and cracks, or
for covering the surfaces, as it is an excellent protective against
wet. It may also be used for stone, &c.:--

  Purified brick-dust        10
  Calcined lime              10
  Purified red iron ore      10

Work this to a paste with dissolved soda. Modifications of this
combination of soda with iron and brick-dust will readily occur to all
who have carefully studied this work.


  Slacked lime powder      1
  Rye-meal                 2
  Linseed-oil varnish      1

To which burnt umber or similar powder may be added at discretion. This
cement dries slowly, but becomes very hard. It is good for filling
cracks, holes, &c.


  Gum-arabic          1
  Water               2
  Potato starch     3-5

SAWDUST, as I have explained, from my own conjecture and experiment,
can be combined with cements so as to form an artificial wood, which
can be easily moulded or carved, and with which all kinds of worm-eaten
and decayed wood can be restored. I find that for this purpose LEHNER
gives the following:--

“Take the finest sawdust and combine it with linseed-oil varnish,
kneading the mass very carefully.”

This, when properly combined and worked, would form a very good
artificial wood. It may be here observed, that because the experimenter
finds at a first trial that the wood is too brittle or too hard, he is
not to conclude that the _recipe_ is good for nothing. Thus, to prepare
it with, glue we should take--

  Water        20
  Glue          1

First boil the glue very carefully, and stir into it the finest
wood-dust or cocoa-nut shell powder. The quality will be improved if
the latter has already been steeped for some time in a strong solution
of oak-bark or gall-apples in spirit, or, instead of the latter, water.
This disposes the dust to amalgamate with the glue. Stir the whole
thoroughly. A commoner or coarser preparation for simply repairing
is made by combining plaster of Paris, glue in watery solution, and
sawdust. Common bone-dust, plaster of Paris, and glue make a good
cement for light wood-dust. With a little glycerine it can be used for
moulding. Add a little pipeclay, and if the bone-dust be very fine the
surface will take a very high polish. Finish with oil and hand rubbing.
This composition combines well with perfectly softened and macerated
paper--not merely _soaked_--to form panels, which, however, to make
them hard, should be pressed or rolled.



  Caseine               500 grams.
  Water                   4 qts.
  Spirit sal-ammoniac   0.5 qt.
  Calcined lime         250 grams.


  Glue               2
  Water             14
  Cement lime        7
  Sawdust          3-4

FOR SPLITS IN TREES, or fractures in the bark:--

  Pitch or resin          50
  Tallow                  10
  Oil of turpentine        5
  Spirits of wine          5

The resin is first melted, the turpentine then stirred in, then the
tallow, and finally the spirits.

I have spoken of artificial wood as chiefly made of sawdust combined
with a binder such as glue. There are, however, strictly speaking,
other kinds. The first of these is made from _cellulose_, which is
disintegrated wood which still retains its fibre. It was discovered,
I believe, by accident, in New York about thirty years ago. A stick,
which fitted tightly, had been left in a cannon, when the latter was
fired off. The result was that the stick was converted into a pulpy,
fibrous mass, which was found to be admirable as a material for making
paper. This, combined with glue, makes good boards.

Bark of different kinds is also combined in powder with glue to
make wood. In all of these mixtures, where it is desirable to avoid
brittleness or hardness, there must be an admixture of oil or
glycerine. There is generally about 20/100 of the latter to 80/100
of sawdust, but the proportion varies according to the degree of
elasticity or hardness required. To make boards the mixture is passed
under heavy rollers, and when dry it is further treated with alum in
solution, or tanner’s infusion of oak-bark, to make it waterproof. This
is not necessary for ordinary work or repair.

TO IMITATE CEDAR.--Take any white wood and boil it for several hours in
the following mixture:--

  Catechu           200
  Caustic soda      100
  Water          10,000

This penetrates very deeply into any wood. It is a very good protective.

TO PREPARE WOOD FOR PAINT.--When you have a board or box, &c., however
rough, and of any kind of inferior wood, first smooth the surface, if
possible by planing, or else with a rasp and glass-paper. Fill all
the holes and chinks with putty, or bread and gum, or gum and plaster
of Paris. Then, with a mixture of glue (not too stiff) and fine white
plaster of Paris, rub over all the surface to perfect smoothness, and
when quite dry remove any irregularities with finest glass-paper. Then
paint as desired. This is an approved method of repairing old panel
pictures, which were all made with such a ground of plaster and glue.

TO REPAIR MARQUETRY OR INLAID WOODWORK.--This, as I have already said,
and will now describe more in detail, is made of different pieces of
coloured wood, glued on a panel. Take a piece of fine hard wood, such
as holly, and saw it out to exactly fit the place where pieces are
missing. Draw the pattern on it, and then outline it very neatly with
a fine pen-knife-point, so as to cut a little way into the wood,
but not _through_ it. Fill up this line thus cut with a composition
of varnish and any black powder. Then with _dyes_, not oil paint or
water-colour, but such as are made with spirit, colour the pattern, a
separate colour to every piece. The dye will sink in and grow pale;
then apply it again, and till it is of the hue desired. Polish the
whole. This is what is called Venetian marquetry. It is, very easy to
make, and produces beautiful results, quite equal to the sawed-out and
inlaid work. It is, moreover, much more durable and far less expensive.
MANDER’S dyes are used for such staining.

Even a single inlaid figure of wood, set into a panel, as in the back
of a chair, gives a character, and apparently greater value, to the
whole. Such inlaying is easily made with a fret-saw. If we take two
thin plates of wood, one dark and one light, and saw the same pattern
out of both, we can then set one into the other, and so make two inlays
by one process. _Parquetry_ is large inlaying for floors. For this it
is well to study such forms as can be _set together_, as, for instance,
squares, diamonds, crosses, T’s and the like.

Violins, guitars, and lutes can be beautifully adorned by the Venetian
process. As the colours do not wear away, and cannot scale off like
common inlaying, it will be seen that it is by far the best way to
decorate them. Furniture of all kinds can be ornamented in the same
way. It is peculiarly appropriate to picture-frames. It being very
little known, objects thus prepared meet with a ready sale.

When a corner of a pane in a window, as often happens--as also to the
glass of a picture-frame or mirror--is broken away, we can easily
make or have made a small ornament which will fit into the corner and
conceal the defect, This can be made of wood, _papier-mâché_ (which is
best), or hard putty or cement. It may be gilded or painted. Windows
may be prettily ornamented in this manner, even if not broken.

[Illustration: _Mirror with Ornaments of Papier-mâché or Wood-Paste._]



It happens often enough that some valuable old manuscript or early
printed work, if not destroyed as useless, is sold for a trifle because
it is torn and worm-eaten or otherwise injured. The loss to literature
from this cause has been terrible, and it is all the more so because in
most cases it was the result of sheer ignorance.

Paper is a composition of linen, cotton, or other vegetable fibre
reduced to powder and then combined with _size_, which is a kind of
glue, paste, or binding medium. Therefore paper can be mended by using,
in the soft, macerated, or pasty form, _paper itself_--which very
simple fact appears to have been hitherto a secret from the greater
portion of mankind. That is to say, having a piece of paper with a
small round hole in it--looking as if some one had fired a shot through
it--take another piece of paper of the same quality and reduce some
of it to a very fine powder or mash it fine with a knife, combine it
with good flour-paste infused with a little clear white glue, and make
a soft paste with the powder; then, laying a porcelain tile or piece
of tin under the sheet, with a hole in it, to prevent sticking, spread
the paste, which is really soft paper, with a knife over the hole. When
dry it will be mended permanently. Observe that the pulp must be a fine
_paste_, not merely paper mixed with paste--_i.e._, lumpy and stringy,
but soft. Secondly, that a better “binder” or size than flour-paste
is one made from scraps of parchment boiled, till all the gelatine
is extracted. Take the latter and let it boil till thick. It makes a
finely glazed surface.

Do not begin to do this with a book, but with a sheet out of which
holes have been punched. It is delicate work, and you must not expect
to succeed in it at once. But in time, with care, you will remake the
paper with great skill. There are workmen who can even reunite torn
edges in this manner so that the mending is almost imperceptible.
This is remaking paper with paper. In some cases it will suffice to
simply neatly paste a piece of paper over a torn-away space. This
may be done--as in most cases--very clumsily, or it may be performed
artistically and daintily. In the latter case, using a very sharp
and specially _thin_ bladed penknife, shave down or scrape away the
overlapping edge, and apply the paste sparingly with the point of a
camel’s-hair small brush. Before it is quite dry lay the leaf on a
smooth, hard surface, and with the penknife or a burnisher flatten
down the thinned edge to an uniform surface. This also requires a
little practice, but when learned the artist may effect miracles of
restoration. One may, and that not infrequently, buy for shillings
books which when mended sell for many pounds.

It often happens that we find some curious little old book which has
been sadly cut or worn, almost down to the type. Take it, and with a
flat rule carefully cut out every page, leaving just a little rim of
margin. Then having obtained old paper corresponding to your text,
or good modern hand-made Dutch, using strong glue-paste or flour and
gum-arabic, or paper-paste, make borders, on which paste the old pages.
If you have old paper--there are dealers who can supply it--you may
do this so well that the juncture will be hardly perceptible. In any
case you will greatly enhance the value of the book. In this, as in
all such work, never attempt to restore anything of value till you
shall have succeeded by experimenting. This is very seldom done, and
yet books thus restored sell for a price which must make the work very
profitable. One reason, however, why we see so little of it is the
_extravagant_ price charged for all such work by the agent who supplies

The prices paid for books thus restored and mounted are extremely
high, simply because there are so few people who know how to do it
well; and yet, as any of my readers may find, the art is an easy one,
requiring only neatness and care. There are very few libraries where
such restorers might not be employed, to the very great profit of the
collection. All purchasers for libraries are continually rejecting
books because they are tattered and worn or “holey,” which could be
sent to the hospital and doctored into value. And it is, indeed, to
be regretted for the sake of the public that our great libraries have
not all shops attached where duplicates and damaged rarities restored
could be sold at fair, not fancy, prices. For it is firstly the
great librarian who sees and rejects the most books, and who could
do an immense amount of good, and greatly stimulate an interest in
collection and literature--and make money--if he would also facilitate
acquisition. The art of restoring and of mending is as yet so much in
its infancy, and is so little understood and practised, that there is
not one book in a thousand, even of _rariora_ and _curiosa_, preserved
as it might be.

It may be worth while to lay some stress on the fact that many persons,
especially women, if they will take a little pains to experiment, can
easily make a living by thus restoring books and injured documents.
There are, indeed, many other means of earning money indicated in this

A CHEAP AND DURABLE VARNISH specially made for bookbinders is prepared
as follows:--Take coarsely powdered gum-copal, add to it oil of thyme
(_oleum thymi serpilli_) or pure oil of rosemary (_oleum rosmarini_),
sufficient to form a solution. Pour off the superfluous liquid, and mix
the remainder with sufficient alcohol to dissolve it well. In making
take only so much of the oil of thyme or rosemary as will cover the
copal, and of alcohol about eight or ten parts to the whole. Special
varnishes, and perhaps better, are known to many bookbinders, who will
sell them, or inform you where to obtain them. I know of none so good
as that of SOEHNÉE, which is, however, very expensive, costing about
ninepence per ounce. It is rather brittle, however, for pictures.

When a book is dog’s-eared, or its leaves have been turned, if the
paper be of a thin, poor quality, its chances of restoration are better
than if it were good and stiff. In the former case damp the leaves one
by one with water in which a _little_ gum tragacanth has been infused.
This is not so much an adhesive as a mere stiffener, and is used as
such for laces. Then flatten them, putting a piece of smooth white
paper between every leaf.

There is, I fear, nothing to be done where the reader is so utterly
devoid of all the instincts of a gentleman or a lady as to turn over
a stiff, thick, highly glazed paper to mark the place! I have just
found this done in a magnificently illustrated work from a circulating
library, and, to aggravate the offence, it was on pictured pages! I
would here remark that if every reader would keep by him a piece of
indiarubber or eraser, and obliterate, or at least render illegible,
all the scribblings made on margins, this detestably vulgar practice
would soon be at an end.

It may be observed that to repair pages which have been torn across,
or engravings, the rent is usually _transverse_--that is, such as to
leave a small flap edge. If we take very strong gum in very minute
quantity on the point of a camel’s-hair brush, we may often succeed
with great care in perfectly reuniting the edges. Observe that in
this, as in everything, the mender should not draw his conclusions
from the first effort, which will probably be a failure, but from
frequent careful observation and experiment. There are marvellously few
people in the world who take the pains to become really good menders
of anything--excepting lace and the like--hence there are few things
mended at all except by botchers and amateurs.

INK-STAINS can be removed from paper by laying underneath the blot a
pad of clean blotting-paper or fine muslin. Take a fine sponge, dip
it in lemon-juice, and press it gently on the stain, so as to moisten
it. Then with a clean, white, soft rag, folded into a pad, press on the
spot, and the pad, lifted off, will remove a little of the ink. Repeat
this process a few times, taking care to change the pad in your hand
every time _to a clean_ spot. Do not try to _rub_ the stain out (as
most people do), but to _draw_ the ink away or out by sucking up or by
absorption. If you simply rub or press the ink in again which has just
been drawn out, you will only make bad worse. And here I would observe
that by this process of pressing, absorbing, and changing the “sucker”
applied, you can draw appalling stains out of almost anything. You
cannot, of course, prevent chemical action or change of colour, but in
most cases this is the best process.

It is better to begin with lemon-juice and a little salt and water
where the paper is thin. When it is strong, a mixture of muriatic acid
and water generally extracts ink.

In a great many cases the staining fluid can be drawn out by absorption
before any chemical change in the colour of the stuff can have been
effected. Therefore it is all-important to know how to do this yourself
_at once_, and not wait till it can be sent to a dyer or scourer or
cleaner. In a few hours’ time that which could have been promptly
extracted will be past all cure. When you spill ink on paper, promptly
apply, first of all, blotting-paper, and then try absorption. If any
stain remains then, apply the acid.

TO TAKE OUT A GREASE-SPOT.--Heat an iron (I generally effect it with a
burning cigar), and hold it as near as possible to the stain without
burning the paper. If this be well done the grease, wax, &c., will
rapidly disappear. If there are any traces left, place on it powdered
calcined magnesia for a time. This is also a good means to extract
grease, wax, or oil from cloth. Very often, where lemon-juice or acid
would ruin the colour of a cloth or other fabric, chloroform will take
out the spot and leave the colour unchanged.

_Bone_, well calcined and powdered, is an excellent absorbent of
grease. It should be remembered that all such processes must be
renewed, for after the powder or cloth applied has received a certain
quantity of the grease or stain, it ceases to be taken in. A gentle
pressure or rubbing, after laying paper over the powder, facilitates
the absorption.

The celebrated ATHANASIUS KIRCHER, who wrote in the sixteenth century,
has left an amusing account of how he one night, stopping at a convent
in Sicily, took a book from the library (it was STEPHANUS FAGUNDEZ’ _In
Præcep’a Ecclesiæ_)--“a new book and elegantly bound”--and spilt over
it and in it all the midnight oil from his lamp! In great alarm he sent
for quicklime, but there was none to be had. So he bade the monks bring
him some _bones_, which he quickly calcined and pulverised and applied.
And the next morning there was not a trace of a spot, only a little
smell of oil, which soon vanished. He adds, that plaster of Paris would
have done as well.

Ascertain carefully the nature of the spot before trying to extract it.
For resinous substances use spirits, or eau de cologne, or turpentine.
Benzine extracts several substances.

An old recipe for removing ink-stains was to take a spoonful of good
aquafortis, in which break a piece of chalk the size of a large barley
corn; add two spoonfuls of rose-water and one of vinegar. This should
be mixed in a clean glass and left to stand for several hours. It is to
be applied with a piece of new sponge, by pressure, and not too freely
nor too long. When the paper is nearly dry renew the process, and when
the ink shall have disappeared, promptly wash out the acid with pure
water and a clean linen rag. (But it is _too strong_ for many fabrics.)

When the ink does not penetrate the paper it can be removed by erasure
with a sharp penknife, or a preparation of vulcanised indiarubber
and powdered pumice-stone sold by most stationers. When this latter
does not “bite,” its action can be aided by very slightly moistening
it. After erasure rub the spot scraped with very finely powdered
pumice-stone, and polish with a burnisher or any smooth substance.

Even when an inkstand has been spilled over a printed or long-written
page, we can by prompt action extract the new ink and leave the old
plain as ever; but the reader who expects to work this miracle of
changing night into day must not wait till the accident happens to
first attempt to remedy it, or he will probably fail. Let him first of
all, not once but often, pour ink on some waste and worthless page, and
then experiment first with the blotting-paper, then with the dilute
acids and the padding. The time will not by any means be wasted.

A fresh ink-spot can be easily removed from paper by rubbing it with a
finely pulverised mixture of saltpetre, sulphur, alum, and pumice. If
the spot is an old one, moisten it first a little with water.

Ink-spots, &c., in old MSS. were sometimes ingeniously covered by
ornaments in gold or colour.

When an entire page or many pages of a book are missing, it often
happens that, at much less expense than would be supposed, an ingenious
printer can restore the whole. There are many books for which it
would be worth while to have the type cast, for even with a page thus
restored the book may be worth ten times as much as if it were wanting.
Missing pages are often supplied by photographic fac-similes from
another copy.

It was only yesterday, as I write, here in Florence, that I heard a
tourist declare that there was nothing worth buying to be found, and
that everything curious was snapped up at once. To which I could not
assent, never having seen so many objects as of late which I regarded
as great bargains. But they were all _dilapidated_, and the tourist
generally likes to see everything in splendid condition. To him who
can restore old books and ivories and leather-work and panel pictures,
there will be no lack of bargains for a long time anywhere. The men who
sell are not all such marvellous experts in mending up, repairing, and
forging as literary dealers in the wonderful would have us believe. If
they were so clever they would not let valuable panel pictures split
in two before their eyes from ignorance of knowing how to straighten
and tack them at a penny’s cost. There is abundance of clever forging,
of lying ivories and silver-work and sham antique leather, but of
restoration of smaller or of single objects there is very little; and
there is, as I have said, in this a vast field for every collector who
knows enough to make practical application of what is taught in this
book. It is so far from true that everything is now snapped up, that I
confidently assert that there is hardly a _bric-à-brac_ shop in Europe
in which a skilled repairer cannot find a bargain, and in most cases

It will often be of service to the mender of books to be able to
prepare parchment-paper for himself. If we take a mixture of one part
nitric acid to three of water--the proportions varying very much with
the quality of the acid and of the paper--and dip into it a piece of
soft unglazed paper, the latter will at once harden into a substance
like parchment. It should be at once washed in changes of pure water. I
may here observe that neither in making this nor anything else should
the operator be satisfied with a single experiment.

Regarding paper, there are certain curious facts worth knowing by every
reader. Before the invention or general use of window-glass, a very
transparent kind of paper was, according to KIRCHER (_De Secretis_),
prepared as follows:--

Take paper from the mill, not as yet sized, and mix with it to six
parts of turpentine two of mastic. This really makes a very clear,
or at least diaphanous, medium, which may be used for temporarily
repairing broken glass windows.

The same writer informs us that if we take fine parchment (_pergamenam
hædinum_), prepared without lime, or naturally dried, we should lay
it in water, which will just cover it, in which has been well infused
boiled honey and the white of eggs. This was used to repair coloured
glass windows.

There is also given in the _Zauberbuch_ of JOHANN WALLBERGER,
Frankfort, 1760, a recipe for the same purpose:--

“Take parchment prepared without lime, and steep it in a mixture of
thick gum-arabic dissolved in water, the yolk of eggs well shaken, and
clarified honey.”

It is worth observing, as regards these recipes from old works, that
while those founded on modern chemistry and experiment are generally
cheaper and apparently better, the former are often more _durable_ in
effect, and were, indeed, more thoroughly tested. There were a great
many parchment windows in those days, and there are none now. And in
have a large collection, there are many curious prescriptions, many of
which I have seen revived from time to time of late years as modern
scientific inventions--on which subject an interesting article could be

A weak solution of oxalic acid in water is often the best to remove ink
and other stains from strong white paper or linen. It should be applied
by gently pressing or _dabbing_ (not rubbing) with a cotton pad. As
soon as the stain is removed, dab it again with clean water. Take good
care, however, that there are no scratches or cuts on your fingers, for
if the acid gets into them it will cause great pain.

I may here mention that the old bookbinders’ paste was made as

Take a quarter of a pound of starch, steep it a quarter of an hour in
water, and stir it till it is milky. Add a pinch of alum, and boil it
once more.

This was said to keep better than paste made from flour. (Add a few
drops of oil of cloves or carbolic acid, and it will keep very well.)
Flour can, however, be used instead of starch, and a good adhesive
be the result. A little glue very much improves it. There is a great
difference in the quality of cement made from bread, as the condition
of the latter has been changed by fermentation.

BINDING.--Repairing books is nearly allied to _binding_, and the latter
is, in perfection, a somewhat difficult art. Yet it is not at all
difficult for a careful person to bind up many works in such a manner
that they will bear much reading, and with a little artistic skill look
very well. This may be effected as follows:--

When a book is stitched together, there are sewed into the back two or
more cross pieces of string or strips of muslin, which project a little
on either side, and which, by being pasted down inside the cover under
a leaf, hold the book and cover together. This is further strengthened
sometimes by another strip of muslin. When the back is firmly gummed
or pasted to the book, so as to bend with it, it is called a flexible
back, which also adds to the strength of the whole.


If the reader will now take a simply sewn or stitched book, without
binding, and will place across its back two or more strips of
parchment, and glue them on with the strongest possible cement--mastic
being the best, but acidulated glue or flour-paste with glue, or even
dextrine-paste, will answer the purpose--and if he will again paste
up and down over these a strip just the width of the back, he will
have all that is necessary to make a strong binding, for this will
hold as well as the strings. Note that the parchment strips must first
be thoroughly wet through and macerated, or crumpled till quite soft.
Again, that when the paste is nearly dry the strip should be rubbed in.

Next cut out two pieces of _strong_ pasteboard, each a very little
larger than the length and width of the book. These are the covers.


Now paste the outside of the _straps_ exactly to the inside of the
covers, leaving just enough space for opening and closing. When dry,
the book should open and close easily. Then take the outer cover
of leather or cloth, which is cut in the shape indicated in the
accompanying outline, paste it well over the back, and then turn the
edges over and paste them down over the cover inside, so as to form a
narrow margin, as may be seen by examining any book. Also turn down,
before doing this, the edges at the ends of the book. The binding will
be much stronger if, after pasting the ends of the parchment strips to
the covers, we paste over them in turn good, strong pieces of paper,
close to the back, to prevent the strips from pulling up.

If there be fly or blank leaves on the sides of the book, paste one of
each down over the inside of the cover. This will conceal the margin
and add greatly to the strength of the book. But if there be none,
you can supply them, firstly, by a method which will make your binding
even stronger than that of most books. Take a very strong piece, let us
say, of Whatman’s or any other good tough linen drawing-paper, just of
the size to cover the whole book--that is, back and sides. Cut in it
four slits, and pass the strips which are to bind the book to the cover
through, and gum them down, and then paste the fly-leaf thus added
down over the strips. But it will answer every purpose if you simply
gum fly-leaves on by a very narrow margin of “adhesive.” All of this
will become clear to any one who will carefully examine a book. And
anybody who has the dexterity to fold a letter neatly or do up a parcel
properly, can in a short time, after one or two experiments, succeed
in binding a book in this manner. I have observed that those who fail
as amateur bookbinders generally do so because they attempt too much
too soon, and aim at producing elegant masterpieces before they have
learned to manage with ease such common work as I have described.

Though this manner of strip-binding is little known, it was, strange
to say, the very first ever practised; for, according to OLYMPIODORUS,
one PHILATIUS was the first who taught the use of _glue_ to fasten
written or blank leaves together, for which great discovery a statue
was erected to him. Binders were called among the Romans _ligatores_,
as they are still in Italy, _legatori_; and it was here, indeed, that I
myself learned the craft, as I now generally bind my own books. Those
who prepared and sold the covers for Roman booksellers were called

There is a very easy way to bind up pamphlets, MSS., or letters
when they have any margin for a back. If you cannot have them
stitched--which, though difficult to an inexpert, can be done for a
mere trifle--then sew them together across from side to side. Where the
pages are of great value, gum them together by a _very narrow_ doubled
or folded strip of adhesive. This done, bind as before, or else simply
paste on a cover of drawing-paper at the back, and the fly-leaves to
the sides. A great deal of loose literature, flying leaves, clippings
from newspapers, letters, &c., can in this way, at no great expenditure
of time or money, be converted into really valuable books.

I may here observe that cloth for binding, thin leather, and even
common parchment or parchment-paper, are much cheaper than would be
supposed, and that the average cost, all expenses included, of binding
a duodecimo book in these would only be from threepence to a shilling.
Any waste parchment will serve for binding.

Any person, however, who can emboss leather with tracer and stamp, even
though but a little, after a week’s practice, can decorate and ornament
books so as to greatly enhance their value. Nor do I exaggerate when
I say that here is a field in which any person who can draw or copy
decorative patterns moderately well might make a living. The reader
will find the fullest details as to how this is done in my _Manual
of Leather Work_. (Price 5s. London, Whittaker & Co., 2 White Hart
Street, E.C.) In the present work I can only state that it is executed
as follows:--Bind your book with cardboard in fairly thick, hard, and
firm brown leather; there is a kind made for the purpose in Germany.
Draw the pattern on it, or else draw it on paper with a crayon-pencil,
and rub it from the back on the leather. This done, go over it with
the fine point of a miniature brush in Indian ink. Dampen the leather
slightly as you work with a sponge, and mark the outline with a tracer
and stamp the ground with a matt. You may leave it brown, but if the
work be coarse, I advise painting the whole with ink or Indian ink, and
then coating it with SOEHNÉE’S varnish, No. 3. Rub this down well by

If you can supply the design (which should always be bold and simple),
any wood-carver will, for a few shillings, execute it in _intaglio_
on a block of wood, which should be at least one inch in thickness,
and also have a transverse piece screwed to its back to prevent its
warping. With this you can stamp off as many covers as you want.
Retouch them by hand with tracer and stamp. If blackened, and then
touched up with gilding and varnished, such books are very attractive,
and should sell well. Any person who can design, or even trace, a
pattern can have it cut on a block for a few shillings, and anybody
having such a block can print off any number of impressions in damp
leather, and retouch them with stamp and tracer, and glue them to
cardboard covers, for books or albums, and sell them at a good profit.
Yet, though this has been clearly set forth by me several times in
manuals, &c., I have never yet met with a single amateur who has
attempted it. There is as a rule far more suffering in this world from
_laziness_, inertness, and an indisposition to _try_ to do something
than from any other contaminating influences which lead to poverty.

When a book is even woefully dilapidated, so that there is no margin
to stitch, do not despair. First separate every leaf, smooth it, and,
if necessary, dampen it with a slight infusion of tragacanth. Then, if
there is even the twentieth part of an inch of margin left, take strips
of good, tough, thin paper, and with care stitch the leaves to these
strips. For some severe cases you must use very thin transparent or
tracing paper to gum over the text, but which must be visible through
it. This, if neatly done, does not look so badly as it would seem. If
one strip be folded and used to connect two leaves, the stitching and
binding become easy. I have already described how to restore margins
and fill worm-holes.

I think that if any person of literary habits will consider all
that is written in this chapter, and will begin to practise it with
deliberation and care, he will surely succeed, and find it a very
profitable and agreeable occupation. All of such men have pamphlets,
MSS., autographs, letters, newspaper clippings, and papers, which,
if classed and made up into book-form, would be more available for
use, and far more valuable. I say nothing of repairing old books;
it speaks for itself as an easy and lucrative employment. And it
may be observed that a young man who can thus bind and repair would
make a most valuable assistant-librarian, though the business can be
mastered very soon indeed; and it would often happen that in choosing
a secretary, where there are many papers to file or a library to look
after, or an assistant in an antiquarian book-shop--particularly the
latter--preference would be given to one who had mastered practically
what is taught in this chapter. And as on board ship the best sailor
is generally the best mender--every old tar being proverbially skilled
in repairing and having a quick eye for emergencies, even on shore--so
the one who can rehabilitate and “form” books will probably be a good
assistant in all things.

It may often happen to a writer or copyist that he has occasion to
erase a word, and cannot write over the space lest the ink should
spread. In old times this was remedied as follows:--A very little
juniper gum, levigated to the finest powder, was rubbed over the spot
with a soft linen rag.

In all kinds of repairing or technical work it is sometimes necessary
to draw circles when the artist has no compasses. Yet this can be done
to perfection, almost by free-hand, and very easily. Take several
sheets of paper or a blotter; lay on it the piece to be drawn on.
Take a pencil in the fingers, as is usual, rest the hand on the nail
of the little finger as a point--having previously pulled the sleeve
of his coat well up, so as to get a full view--and then with the left
hand draw or revolve the paper. In most cases a perfect circle will be
the result. This is admirable practice for learning to draw circles
entirely by free hand, as may be found by experiment.

Paper can be made, if not absolutely fire-proof, at least deprived of
inflammability, by being steeped in alum-water, or in _oleum tartari
per deliquium_, or oil of tartar. Stationers might find a sale for such
paper. If the document which was thrown by a certain Duchess into the
fire had been thus prepared, it might have been rescued by a bystander
before it perished.

The art of preservation, or prevention of injury, is allied to
restoration, for which reason it would be well if more people who send
books by mail would use protecting corners, which can readily be made
by anybody with a pair of strong scissors from thin sheet brass, tin,
or iron. Take a piece of metal of a rectangular shape, as follows:--


Then double it into a triangle over a piece of cardboard, or of wood,
exactly the thickness of the cover of the book:--


Very valuable books should be kept in boxes of thin metal, especially
in India. Such cases should not be made to open and shut with a hinged
lid, but with a covering, and like a cigar case. Such cases, or at
least metallic guards, should also be used when a book is wrapped
and tied in the usual manner and sent by mail. I am quite sure that
at least every other book which I have received by mail during the
past year has shown on its edges melancholy scars from its strings,
reminding one of the wounds which the heroic red Indian retained from
his bonds. A guard is simply a piece of sheet-metal, bent as follows,
once or twice:--


These guards are invaluable for packing books in trunks. Their price is
trifling, and in the end there would be great economy in using them.
Books should not be packed very tightly together on their shelves. It
bursts the binding, especially of modern works in boards and paper.
The old parchment flexible bindings were in every respect better,
and they could even now be made far more cheaply than is generally
supposed to be possible. I have before me a book nearly three hundred
years old, bound in skiver parchment (split, or very thin), which has
evidently been much used, yet which is still in good condition. But
parchment need not be prepared very carefully for ordinary binding, and
it could be sold for half the price charged by law stationers for what
is used to write on. In the United States one must pay much more for a
sheepskin than for a sheep, indeed in some cases three or four times
as much--that is to say, the skin as a parchment in New York costs as
much as three sheep in the Far West--and yet the expense of bringing
the skin to the East and of tanning it are in no proportion whatever to
the stationer’s profits.

Any one who will examine an ordinary old parchment-bound book, such as
lies before me, will see at a glance why it must be more durable than
a modern binding. In the modern book the _stiff_ back rises full to
the edge, or generally _above_ the level of the sides, and is made of
muslin, paper, or at best of soft leather. Therefore in time it breaks
from pressure and friction, or wears away. The parchment or vellum had
in most cases this back-edge put back or kept down as much as possible,
and the tough covering was all in one piece. It is very true that it
is not possible to obtain plain, old-fashioned parchment now, and that
those who would have vellum, or even sheep, must pay an enormous price
for it. This would not, however, be the case long if there were as
great a popular demand for parchment binding as there now is for flimsy
muslin. Those who prefer the former will find no difficulty in having
it made for them, and in binding their books themselves according to
the directions which I have given.

I shall in the chapter on _Papier-mâché_ show how covers for books may
be cheaply made at no great expense, which may be beautifully embossed
and are extremely durable. This is, briefly, by having a flat mould
or die, on which lay alternate coats of paper and firm paste (into
which glue and alum enter), then passing over them a bread-roller,
continually adding paste and paper till the whole is complete. When
finished, rub in black or any other colour, then rub in oil, rub again,
apply SOEHNÉE, No. 3, and finally rub by hand. This will make very
beautiful binding.

It is much to be regretted that, although there has been of late years,
owing to machinery and patent processes, such immense production of
cheap and showy binding, as shown in photograph albums, there has been
as steady and rapid decrease in quality, strength, and durability. It
is becoming unusual, even in very expensive books, to find one which
can be honestly and well opened or is well stitched. I have, since
writing that last word, tested it with two books recently published,
one costing six shillings, the other a guinea. The latter was fairly
well put together and “held,” but was warped in the stitching and
pasting. It was “bad work.” As for the six shilling book, it cracked
_clear through to the back_ at every page which I opened, and yet I
did not open it very widely. I should say that any amateur who could
not learn to bind books better in a month or six weeks than these were
bound must be stupid indeed. The examination of a number of other books
shows that what I have said is now generally true, and that even very
expensive and pretentiously elegant works are not half so well bound in
reality as were common and cheap school-books two hundred years ago.
This I have also confirmed by examining a number of the latter bound in
parchment, which bid fair to last for centuries to come.

Should this cheap, trashy, and showy style of binding continue,
and with it a constant rise in the price of everything made by
hand, the result will be that everything durable will be made by
“amateurs”--that is, by people who to artistic spirit unite a
certain personal independence. Owners of libraries will bind their
own books, or else employ people who will work as artists, and not
like mere machines. The vulgar and ignorant will continue to buy
showy, cheap duplicates--induced by hearing, “’Ere’s an harticle, mum,
that we’re sellin’ a great many hof”--while the cultured will prefer
the hand-made, which is not necessarily more expensive. In fact, if
the unemployed in England--or the victims of the wholesale steam
trash-maker--could be taught easy hand-work, as they all _can_ be, it
would be possible to not only vastly relieve national poverty, but we
could have a variety of articles of better quality. For it appears to
be, by some strange law, a _fact_ that, with all the improvements in
machinery, men can still make by _hand_--and well--pictures, clothes,
shoes or boots, bookbindings, and works of art generally--that is to
say, anything in which skill or character can be shown; while, on
the contrary, in all such matters machinery, instead of making any
progress, is, owing to competition, actually falling behind! Scientific
and other journals are continually boasting of new discoveries and
improvements, but despite this the jerry-built houses of three-fourths
of London, the sawed and glued cheap and vile furniture (made by
scientific steam) with which they are filled, the average quality of
everything into which skill and taste are supposed to enter, show that
this boasted “end of the century” is also rapidly coming to an end in
good taste and the quality of its work.

He who will learn to _mend_ with care, taste, and skill, firstly
his books, will find that to progress from this to binding and to
making elegant covers is only going from A to B. The binding of the
olden time, while it was incredibly strong, vigorous, and quaint, was
extremely easy to make, as I have satisfied myself by much examination
and personal practice. The stitching was not with the weakest and
cheapest cotton-thread; still less was it with wires too thin for the
purpose; it was executed with linen pack-thread, _from the top to
the bottom of the page_, in three or four stitches, so that the book
could really be opened and bent back till the covers touched without
injury to it. All of which could be given to-day with the parchment
covers at the same price which the book now costs, and to pay the same
profit, were it not that public “taste” prefers showy trash. Beyond
good, strong _stitching_, all the _necessary_ process of binding is
very easy. It requires neatness and care, and some practice, but it is
decidedly not difficult. He who has mastered it will find that other
kinds of mending, and also the practice of allied minor arts, are
simply the succeeding letters of the alphabet.

It is a fact, to which I invite attention, that dilettante amateurs
of books invariably understand by binding nothing more than its
refinements and easily ruined adornment, which books had better be
without. Amateurs of this class always attempt at once the most
difficult work, and generally fail. As a rule, almost without
exception, the prize specimens of modern binding seen at exhibitions
are chiefly remarkable for ornament, which will not endure handling or
rubbing, such as surface-gilding.

Pamphlets or letters, &c., can be bound with “eyelets,” and the clamp
or punch which is sold with them. Or they may be simply gummed
together, in which case use the powerful fish-glue, which holds

The easiest and most effective method of side-binding, or where leaves
are held together by passing the tie through from side to side, is
as follows:--Have by you strips of metal, say sheet-tin, one-fourth
or one-third of an inch in breadth; also small rivets or tacks. Take
two strips of the same length as the pamphlet or papers to be bound,
and strike holes in them with a brad-awl and hammer, on a solid piece
of wood, at regular distances. Then place these strips on the book,
and drive the rivets through the holes. Turn the whole round, and
laying the other side on an anvil or a reversed flat-iron, flatten
the points of the rivets so that they will hold. Any old tins, such
as are thrown away in such numbers, can be made to supply strips. A
strip of parchment or strong paper bent over to form a back can then
be pasted over the strips to improve the appearance of the volume. Any
tinman will, for a trifle, supply these strips and punch the holes
neatly for use. They should be found in every library, and ought to
be in every stationer’s. It may be observed that in inserting the
rivets or tacks you should place them alternately, one on one side
and one on the other. A lighter form of this binding is to take a
flat-headed drawing-pin, similar to those used by artists, and have a
round, flat tin or brass disc, like a thin sixpence or threepenny-bit,
corresponding to it. In the latter punch a small hole, and rivet as
before. Tinmen will also punch these discs; in fact, they often throw
away a great many cut from certain kinds of work.

Where the leader may have a great number of books to bind, he will
find it an economy or a means to secure good work to hire a girl who
is an experienced book-stitcher to come and work for him. He can
thus be _sure_ of having his works _well_ sewed from top to bottom
with strongest linen-thread in ancient style, instead of their being
shabbily wired (and all wiring is shabby, since the thin does not
hold, and the thick bursts the binding), or still more shabbily looped
together with weak cotton-thread. This effected, he can easily do his
own binding. He may not rival a Grolier, or turn out such exquisite
“gems” as require to be kept in caskets, and are utterly unsuitable for
use or reading, and, like most “elegant and unrivalled” modern binding,
marvels of tooling and gilding. But he can most assuredly hope to bind
strongly in parchment as books were bound in the olden time, and if
he chooses to also ornament them with richly stamped leather covers,
he can in a short time learn to do the latter, as may be seen in the
_Manual of Leather-Work_.

The great test of excellence in a book is, Can it be freely handled and
read without injury? The most careless examination of most books will
convince the reader that this test is almost unknown. The exquisitely
whitened vellum bindings of Florence and Venice, which are stained
almost with the pressure of a lady’s clean finger; the photograph
album, so beautifully stamped in leather as thin as blotting-paper,
which scratches and wears into shabbiness in a week, if often
opened--all the show-pieces of exhibitions will not endure _use_.
And it seems as if, after all the binding of this decade shall have
perished, that of the common, cheap books of the seventeenth century
will be as good as ever.

A great number of the adhesives and cements mentioned in this book are
quite applicable to mending bindings or making paper stick to paper,
&c. The following is, however, not only a paste, but also a glaze, and
is extensively used as such on labels, boxes, and cards:--

Boil borax with water, and work it thoroughly into caseine till it
forms a clear, thick, and extremely adhesive cement, which is also much
used to varnish leather or muslins.

It is often desirable to have a varnish or glaze for the covers of
books, and still more frequently a paste, which will hold very firmly
and yet not penetrate, as glue and paste very often do.

To make such a cement, mix heavy solution of warm glue with freshly
made starch or flour-paste. Add to this one-fourth part of turpentine
and one-fourth of spirits of wine. This excellent cement is applicable
to many purposes.

To paper walls _well_ we make flour-paste, and to every quart add
ten grammes of alum dissolved in hot water. Then wash the wall with
glue-water, and cover the paper with the paste. The alum and glue form
a combination which is leathery and insoluble, and not only arrests
decay, but clings with great force. Most wall-paper put on with common
paste decays more or less in time, and becomes simply poisonous.




  Gilder’s glue                      100
  Water                              200

Add to this:--

  Bleached shellac                     2
  Alcohol                             10


Dissolve together:--

  Dextrine                            50
  Water                               50

Unite the two solutions thus formed; pass them through a cloth, so as
to fall into a flat mould. When dry, use by dissolving in hot water.


  Dextrine                             2
  Vinegar                              1
  Water                                5
  Alcohol                              1

Stamps are, however, very often surreptitiously removed by means of
moisture. The following recipe renders this difficult. It consists of
two preparations, one of which is applied to the stamp and one to the
letter. It is particularly needed in America, where, according to a
statement in a newspaper, _nearly one-third_ of all the postage-stamps
are removed from letters, cleaned, and used over again.

I. _For the Letter._

  Chromic acid                        2.5 gr.
  Caustic potash                     15.0  ”
  Water                              15.0  ”
  Sulphuric acid                      0.5  ”
  Sulphuric copper-oxide of ammonia  30.0  ”
  Fine paper                          4.0  ”

II. _On the Stamp._

  Sturgeon’s bladder in water         7.0 gr.
  Vinegar                             1.0  ”

The chromic acid forms with the glue a substance insoluble in water,
which causes the stamp not to yield to moisture. The two should be
kept in two cups, and the letter first smeared with one and the stamp
with the other. I have read of a physician who, finding that his
postage-stamps were often stolen, adopted the precaution of giving
their backs an application of croton-oil, or some similar powerful
“anti-thief-matic,” the result of which was great temporary illness in
his landlady and her family. For this recipe the reader must apply to a

EDER’S GUM FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.--Dissolve oxyhydrate of ammonia in vinous
acid, to one part of which add twenty of starch-paste.

wheat-flour, and make it to a paste with 20 grammes of finely powdered
alum. Boil this till a spoon will stand uptight in it. Cover the
cardboard or cover with this, lay the leather or muslin upon it, and
then with a roller press one upon the other. Leather should first be
damped. Care must be taken that the paste be not too moist; secondly,
that it is laid on very evenly and thinly.

Engravings or texts which have had a piece torn out can be restored as

Obtain a photograph from a perfect copy on corresponding paper, then
with gum set it in, so as to supply the deficiency.

As the ravages of the _Book-worm_ form an important item in mending
books, and as there is always some interest for collectors regarding
this much talked of and rarely seen insect, I take the liberty of
reproducing from the American _Science_ of March 24, 1893, an article
on the subject. An appropriate motto for it might be:--

    “Come hither, boy; we’ll hunt to-day
     The book-worm, ravening beast of prey.”


At a meeting of the Massachusetts Historical Society, held February
9, 1893, Dr. Samuel A. Green, after showing two volumes that had been
completely riddled by the ravages of insects, as well as some specimens
of the animals in various stages, made the following remarks:--

       *       *       *       *       *

For a long period of years I have been looking for living specimens of
the so-called “book-worm,” of which traces are occasionally found in
old volumes; and I was expecting to find an invertebrate animal of the
class of annelids. In this library at the present time there are books
perforated with clean-cut holes opening into sinuous cavities, which
usually run up the back of the volumes, and sometimes perforate the
leather covers and the body of the book; but I have never detected the
live culprit that does the mischief. For the most part the injury is
confined to such as are bound in leather, and the ravages of the insect
appear to depend on its hunger. The external orifices look like so many
shot-holes, but the channels are anything but straight. From a long
examination of the subject I am inclined to think that all the damage
was done before the library came to this site in the spring of 1833.
At all events, there is no reason to suppose that any of the mischief
has been caused during the last fifty years. Perhaps the furnace-heat
dries up the moisture which is a requisite condition for the life and
propagation of the little animal.

Nearly two years ago I received a parcel of books from Florida, of
which some were infested with vermin, and more or less perforated in
the manner I have described. It occurred to me that they would make a
good breeding farm and experiment station for learning the habits of
the insect; and I accordingly sent several of the volumes to my friend
Mr. Samuel Garman, who is connected with the Museum of Comparative
Zoology at Cambridge, for his care and observation. From him I learn
that the principal offender is an animal known popularly as the Buffalo
Bug, though he is helped in his work by kindred spirits, not allied
to him according to the rules of natural history. Mr. Garman’s letter
gives the result of his labours so fully as to leave nothing to be
desired, and is as follows:--



“SIR,--The infested books sent for examination to this Museum, through
the kindness of Mr. George E. Littlefield, were received July 15,
1891. They were inspected, and, containing individuals of a couple of
species of living insects, were at once enclosed in glass for further
developments. A year afterward live specimens of both kinds were still
at work. Besides those that reached us alive, a third species had left
traces of former presence in a number of empty egg-cases.

“Five of the volumes were bound in cloth. On these the principal
damage appeared at the edges, which were eaten away and disfigured by
large burrows extending inward. Two volumes were bound in leather. The
edges of these were not so much disturbed; but numerous perforations,
somewhat like shot-holes externally, passed through the leather,
enlarging and ramifying in the interior. As if made by smaller insects,
the sides of these holes were neater and cleaner cuttings than those in
the burrows on the edges of the other volumes.

“The insects were all identified as well known enemies of libraries,
cabinets, and wardrobes. One of them is a species of what are
commonly designated ‘fish bugs,’ ‘silver fish,’ ‘bristle tails,’ &c.
By entomologists they are called _Lepisma_; the species in hand is
probably _Lepisma saccharina_. It is a small, elongate, silvery, very
active creature, frequently discovered under objects, or between the
leaves of books, whence it escapes by its extraordinary quickness of
movement. Paste and the sizing or enamel of some kinds of paper are
very attractive to it. In some cases it eats off the entire surface of
the sheet, including the ink, without making perforations; in others
the leaves are completely destroyed. The last specimen of this insect
in these books was killed February 5, 1893, which proves the species to
be sufficiently at home in this latitude.

“The second of the three is one of the ‘Buffalo Bugs.’ or ‘Carpet
Bugs,’ so called; not really bugs, but beetles. The species before
us is the _Anthrenus varius_ of scientists, very common in Boston
and Cambridge, as in other portions of the temperate regions and the
tropics. Very likely the ‘shot-holes’ in the leather-bound volumes are
of its making, though it may have been aided in the deeper and larger
chambers by one or both of the others. The damage done by this insect
in the house, museum, and library is too well known to call for further
comment. Living individuals were taken from the books nearly a year
after they were isolated.

“The third species had disappeared before the arrival of the books,
leaving only its burrows, excrement, and empty egg-cases, which,
however, leave no doubt of the identity of the animal with one of the
cockroaches, possibly the species _Blatta Australasiæ_. The cases agree
in size with those of _Blatta Americana_, but have thirteen impressions
on each side, as if the number of eggs were twenty-six. The ravages of
the cockroaches are greatest in the tropics, but some of the species
range through the temperate zones and even northward. An extract from
Westwood and Drury will serve to indicate the character of their work:--

“‘They devour all kinds of victuals, dressed and undressed, and damage
all sorts of clothing, leather, books, paper, &c., which, if they do
not destroy, at least they soil, as they frequently deposit a drop of
their excrement where they settle. They swarm by myriads in old houses,
making every part filthy beyond description. They have also the power
of making a noise like a sharp knocking with the knuckle upon the
wainscotting, _Blatta gigantea_ being thence known to the West Indies
by the name of drummer; and this they keep up, replying to each other,
throughout the night. Moreover, they attack sleeping persons, and will
even eat the extremities of the dead.’

“This quotation makes it appear that authors as well as books are
endangered by this outlaw. With energies exclusively turned against
properly selected examples of both, what a world of good it might do
mankind! The discrimination lacking, the insect must be treated as a
common enemy. As a bane for ‘silver fish’ and cockroaches, pyrethrum
insect powder is said to be effectual. For a number of years I have
used, on lepisma and roach, a mixture containing phosphorus, ‘The
Infallible Water Bug and Roach Exterminator,’ made by Barnard & Co.,
7 Temple Place, Boston, and, without other interest in advertising
the compound, have found it entirely satisfactory in its effects.
Bisulphide carbon, evaporated in closed boxes or cases containing the
infested articles, is used to do away with the ‘Buffalo Bugs.’--Very
respectfully yours,


I can remember that many years ago there was to be seen in the bookshop
of John Penington, Philadelphia, a book-worm preserved in spirits in a
vial. The manner in which this species of teredo penetrates wood and
leather as well as paper is not the least curious of its habits.

The great amount of injury inflicted by boring-insects in books, wood,
and all weak substances is sufficient reason for giving so much space
to this subject. From a ship to a manuscript, nothing is safe from



Soft paper, when mixed with water, gum, or, better still, with
flour-paste, forms a substance which can be moulded to any form,
and which, when dry, will be as hard as cardboard. Its hardness and
durability may be increased by mingling with it many substances.

Combined with soft leather in small fragments or with the dust of
leather, it forms what the French call _carton-cuir_. In this, or
even in its natural state--that is, paper and paste--_papier-mâché_,
as it is termed, can under pressure be made as hard as any wood. I
have seen all kinds of articles of furniture made from it. In America
there are manufactories in which pails or buckets, tubs, firkins, and
even durable boats, are thus manufactured. There is in Bergen, Norway,
a church built entirely of it mixed with lime. For certain kinds of
mending it is very valuable.

Though not so plastic as clay, _papier-mâché_ can, with a little
practice, be moulded into any form. It consists simply of pasting piece
on to piece, pressing it meantime as much as possible with the fingers
or a wooden implement like a pestle. The pressure should be applied as
it gradually dries. Any one can thus make very hard cardboard with a
bread-roller on a board.

If you have the cardboard cover of a book badly damaged, with even a
portion gone, it can be restored by using _papier-mâché_ in which a
solution of glue or gum has been infused. Glue it specially at the
edges. For such repairing take paper-dust or pulp, combined with
gum-arabic in alum-water solution, or simply the gum. This is easily
moulded and smoothed into any cracks or torn places.

If _parchment_ be torn away it is easily replaced. Cut a piece to
replace the missing portion, dampen it and the edge which it is to join
till quite soft, then glue the two together, using pressure. I have
just effected this myself with a cover of which half was gone, and the
mending is hardly visible. Use the broad knife freely to press down the

By combination with a mixture of nitric or sulphuric acid and water,
_soft_ paper becomes parchment-like and very hard. This requires
careful experimenting, for its success depends on the quality of the
acid and the texture of the paper. Very remarkable results have been
obtained from this, such as material resembling ivory, horn, and
tortoise-shell, in large blocks.

Waste-paper is so common and cheap that _papier-mâché_ can always be
made anywhere. It is well adapted to close cracks in wood, walls, or
elsewhere; and for those who wish for an employment or amusement, it
affords endless facilities. One of these is the mending or making of

A common mask is made as follows. On a face carved in wood and oiled
there is spread common coarse soft paper wetted, which is carefully
pressed down, and more paper and paste added, till it is of the
requisite thickness. It is then, when rather dry, taken off and left
to dry perfectly. It is then painted and varnished. Should a mask be
broken, wet it, paste glue-paper over it, and paint it again.

_Papier-mâché_ is popularly synonymous with that which is trashy and
sham in art, simply because its capacities and applications are not
known. Thus leather-work was long despised as only affording imitations
of carved wood. But in the hands of a true artist--that is, of an
_original designer_, who applies, and not a mere artisan, who imitates
or copies--_papier-mâché_ is as much a subject for art as any other
material. It can be used in many ways, more or less allied to mending,
as are all arts. Thus paper in fine powder, or reduced to a fine
paste--or pulp--can be, with a little practice, mixed with gum and
_painted_ with a brush on a surface so as to produce relief. A very
little elevation or depression thus serves to produce grounds which
may serve to give light or shadow to pictures. Thus pastel painting
or crayon in colours rubbed in, which has always been, even in the
most vigorous hands, a weak or “softly sweet” art, may be made very
vigorous by firmly relieving and roughening the ground; for, as the
great American painter, ALLSTON, often strengthened his colours by
mixing sand with them, so pastel painting which lacks “sand” can have
it supplied by mixing it with the gum for the ground.

To understand this process more clearly, let it be observed that, as
the illuminators of mediæval manuscripts gave relief and the appearance
of solidity to gold by making a raised surface with a powder of _gesso_
(plaster of Paris) and clay and gum, so this principle can be carried
out to a far greater extent by giving relief to a ground. Here those of
limited views, who never get beyond the merely artisan stage of art,
will at once decry this as shamming, and as imitating effect by the aid
of modelling, and not being true art, quite forgetting that all is true
to genius, and everything more or less sham in the mere imitation.

Having a surface, either panel or Bristol board, which latter had
better be pasted to a panel or good thick solid cardboard, begin by
taking a little gum or glue in tolerably fluid solution on the point
of a brush, and incorporating with it the paper pulp or cloth-dust to
a very soft paste, with which paint what is to be in relief. The same
effect is produced in oil by using a heavier, thicker kind of paint.
That is all the difference, one being as legitimate as the other. By
intermixing chalk or sand or clay, and by using glass-paper where the
crayon, &c., refuse to take easily, the relief adapts itself to every
substance. In this, as in every process known, the artist must at first
experiment a little, according to his materials.

Solid sheets of fine hard paper, with strong paste between, when passed
between rollers form a kind of _papier-mâché_ which, is as hard as
wood, fire-proof, and, what is most singular, more durable than iron.
Wheels for railway carriages are often made of it, and they never warp
under the action of heat or cold, neither do they crack nor bend. You
can make this cardboard for yourself of very good quality by this
process:--Take a sheet of writing-paper--the better the quality the
better the result will be--cover it with good flour-paste in which
there is a little alum and glue and a few drops of oil of cloves, which
latter will prevent paste from turning or souring. Then lay on this
another sheet, apply another coat of paste, and when it is a little dry
or past the softer stage, yet while still capable of adhesion, lay the
sheets on a hard, smooth slab or table, and pass a roller over them, at
first gently, but eventually frequently, and with force. Add as many
sheets as necessary for the thickness required. It will be understood
that if the surface on which this sheet is formed were an intaglio-cut
die or mould, the cardboard when taken up would present a bas-relief of
it as hard as any wood, and the whole would form a panel which could be
used for the side of a box or to be set in a cabinet. If made of good
paper and firmly rolled, this panel will be in every respect equal to
wood for all decorative purposes.

As anybody who can carve wood at all can cut moulds, and as a wooden
mould, if kept well oiled (or otherwise secured from yielding to
moisture), will serve for _papier-mâché_ and leather or wood-paste
casting, it is remarkable that such work is so very little practised
by the students of the minor arts. That such panels can be very easily
and rapidly made I know by experience; that the materials for the work
are cheap speaks for itself; and, finally, that beautiful panels for
cabinets and doors, whether made of carved wood, stamped leather, or
_papier-mâché_ bring a very good price will also be most apparent to
anybody who will go to a fashionable cabinetmaker and order them.
Thus we will say that a small plain cabinet costs £5. Put into it six
panels, really costing about 6d. each to mould, and the price will be
£10. Such pressed panels are admirably adapted for binding books, as,
when properly made and dried, they cannot warp or bend. If covered with
relief they may be made very beautiful. Simply blackened or browned,
then rubbed with oil, varnished with SOEHNÉE, No. 3, and rubbed by
hand, they are as beautiful as polished wood or leather.

_Papier-mâché_, pulp, or paper powder can be combined with caoutchouc
or indiarubber, which latter can be itself dissolved in benzine,
camphine, sulphuric ether, and other solvent mediums, so as to form a
paste which becomes like indiarubber when dry or as it hardens. Mixed
with sulphur this forms vulcanite. Or it may be combined with white
colouring matter of almost any kind. This can be applied to mending
the broken noses of dolls, or any other wounds which these pretty
semblances of humanity often receive, their beauty being unfortunately
generally more shortlived than that of their prototypes. The final
finish of such reparation is a coat of paint. In many cases this is
better when rubbed on with the finger than when directly painted. The
reader who shall have studied this work will find no difficulty in
restoring any toy.

I may, however, here remark that “no solution of india rubber can be
well moulded without intimate intermixture of sulphur, aided by heat
and pressure. This is a difficult process, and the amateur would do
well, therefore, to purchase rubber composition, which he may do at
any large shop in which rubber goods are made as a specialty” (_Work_,
May 21, 1892).


It is easy to make any article of _papier-mâché_ if the mere beginning
of a form has once been shaped; because, after that is set, all that we
have to do is to gradually paste one piece of paper on, here and there,
till it is finished. This beginning is very easy if we have an object
on which to begin. Thus take a vase or cup. Oil this, and then lay on
and all around it soft, damp paper. Newspaper will do--a _soft_, white
printing paper. Then, with a broad brush, lay on paste, and apply a
second coat of paper. Press it meanwhile as hard as you can. Continue
this till the _papier-mâché_ is thick enough. When dry, take a penknife
and cut a line through from top to bottom. Scale it off, and reunite
the edges with strong glue; then paste over the line of junction a
strip of paper. Then you will have a cup.

If it be rough, cut it smooth and use glass-paper. When finished it
may be painted or covered with wet leather, which can be worked into
relief. Or it may be made to look like ivory by the process elsewhere
described. Paper may in this process be combined with soft leather
rags; as, for instance, pieces of old gloves out of which the thread
has been taken, old chamois, bookbinders’ clippings, or the like. This
forms effectively leather.

CARTON-PIERRE, or stone-paper, is a very useful composition, which is
very fully described by GEORGE PARLAND in _Work_, July 2, 1893. It
consists of paper scraps, in the proportion of an ordinary washing
boiler or copper one-half full of boiling water and about one-half
paper waste. Add two pounds of best flour-paste; also, in a separate
vessel, a quart of water, into which sprinkle a handful of fine plaster
of Paris. Let it stand ten minutes before mixing it. “When the paper
in the copper has become a fine pulp add the flour-paste, keeping the
whole well stirred. Fifteen minutes after add the plaster, and a few
minutes later rake out the fire from under the boiler. Have ready three
pails of fine ground whiting; pour in one pail of whiting and stir up
well, adding more whiting till the stick used to stir will stand of
itself in the mixture. Let it cool, and it will be ready for use.

“Some firms,” writes Mr. PARLAND, “add powdered alum in the boiling
process, others add one pint of boiled linseed-oil; but if made
according to the previous directions, an excellent _carton-pierre_ will
result, which gives very fine impressions from moulds. If it be cast in
a plaster mould, the latter should have two or three coats of shellac
varnish, and then be well oiled.... In using the _carton_, sprinkle
some fine plaster of Paris on a bench, and taking a lump of the newly
made _carton_, mix it well with dry plaster, adding more plaster, as
bakers would add flour to their dough. Having worked it well in this
way until it will not stick to the fingers, with clean hands roll
pieces very smooth in the palms, or on a smooth level board, and press
each roll into the cavities and hollows of the mould, _often wetting
the edges of the carton_ in the mould before adding a fresh piece to
it. The casts must not be more than from an eighth to a quarter of an
inch in thickness, except at the outside edges of the mould.... The
casts must stand about twenty-four hours, and then be baked in not more
than 100° heat.”

The reader who is specially interested in _papier-mâché_ will find a
series of articles on the subject in _Work_, Nos. 3, 6, 12, 17, 22, 25.

Pipeclay, to which calcined magnesia, whiting, or baryta may be
added or omitted according to the body required, may be combined
with _papier-mâché_ and gluten, such as gum-arabic or dextrine or
flour-paste, which will form under pressure, or even by hand-rolling,
a very hard and finely grained substance, which is specially adapted
to painting pictures. Plates or _tavole_ are sold very cheaply in
Florence of _papier-mâché_, which are as hard, heavy, and glossy as
ebony. It is not generally realised that an expensive hydraulic-press
or steam-engine is not needed by the amateur to harden _papier-mâché_.
A common bread-roller, passed many times over the material, will work
it “down and in,” quite as well as direct pressure, and very often much

_Papier-mâché_ mixed and macerated with indiarubber or gutta-percha and
benzole (_vide_ Indiarubber) forms in many cases a very good substitute
for leather. It can also be combined with _flexible_ varnish to make
leather. Very valuable soles can be made, or broken ones repaired,
by taking card or pasteboard and soaking it in a hot solution of
indiarubber. These waterproofed soles, whether of cardboard or leather,
are easily prepared, as easily applied and renewed, and they will keep
the true sole from wearing out forever, if renewed.

Singular as it seems, there are not many persons who are familiar
with the properties or texture of so familiar a substance as paper.
We know that if wetted it grows soft, but still remains, as it were,
knotty, and that when chewed it does not properly dissolve. Yet if
the reader will take a piece of thoroughly wetted paper, and knead or
macerate it with a knife for some time with gum in solution, he will
find it gradually becomes a soft paste, as flexible and as capable of
moulding as putty or clay. This is not the same as _papier-mâché_,
which consists of paper merely wet or mixed and boiled with paste, and
contains fibre and knottiness. The finely macerated paper, combined
with an adhesive, is ductile, impressionable, sets well, and readily
receives pressure on rolling, under which it becomes extremely hard.
Paper thus _completely softened_ is readily made into sheets, and
may be easily applied not only to fill up worm-holes in leaves and
completely torn-away corners, &c., but is very useful for cracks
and cavities in wood and other substances. It may be made up with
any gums, such as gum-arabic, dextrine, fish-glue, and also with
caseine, gutta-percha, varnish, and most of the substances used in
cements. Paper when thus softened and mixed with, _e.g._, fine glue
and glycerine, or with flour-paste, can be moulded and applied in
ornamental forms to any surface.

There is this great difference between simply _wet_ paper, however wet
it may be, and that which is completely softened by maceration. The
former is always lumpy, the latter passes under the blade of a knife
like soft clay or putty. When made up with gum, glue, and glycerine,
or strong paste, it is, when dry, like light wood, but less brittle.
Kneaded with Indiarubber solution and glue, it becomes like leather,
and can be used in several varieties of repairs. Rolled into sheets,
this composition makes very good and cheap artificial leather for
hangings. To manufacture these, spread the composition with a broad
brush or dabber on a slate or marble table, and when rather dry pass
over it a wooden roller. Some practice is needed not to roll it when
too soft. If intaglio patterns are cut in the roller, the sheets will
give them in relief. It is worth noting here that a great many pieces
of old hangings sold as leather are really only made of _papier-mâché_,
or _carton-cuir_, and glue. These hangings, whether of leather or
counterfeited, can be often bought in a damaged condition very cheaply,
and can be easily restored with this composition, to great profit. When
mixed with white lead, or oil paint and glue, soft paper becomes harder
and firmer, and under pressure is as hard and heavy as any wood. White
paper with holly wood or white larch or lime-tree wood in powder, and
white gelatine--better if bone or ivory dust be added, with a little
Naples yellow (oil)--forms a beautiful cement.

It will be seen by what I have written that cavities, holes, cracks,
and defects in most substances, including wood and leather, can be
perfectly remedied with paper in combination with glue, gum, or other
substances; and as it is always to be obtained, a knowledge of its
nature and applications cannot fail to be of value to all menders and

_Papier-mâché_, like all substantial or putty-like cements, involves
moulding or casting. This subject is exhaustively treated in the
_Vollständige Anleitung zum Formen und Giessen_, by Eduard Uhlenhuth;
Vienna, A. Hartleben, price 3s. On the subject of paper consult the
_Handbuch der praktischen Papier-Fabrikation_, by Dr. Stanislaus
Mierzinski, three volumes, which is not only the latest, but by far the
most comprehensive, work on the subject with which I am acquainted.
And here I may observe in this connection that if my references have
been chiefly to German works, it is because, in the minor technical
applications of chemistry to the arts, and in preparing intelligible
practical treatises on such subjects, the Germans have been, especially
of late, by far the first nation in Europe.

I may mention that since writing the foregoing passages I purchased,
for a mere trifle, in Florence two carved heads of the fourteenth
century in walnut wood. They had suffered very much from time and
wanton abuse, their noses having been hacked off. I made a mixture of
soft paper-paste and gum-arabic, working the two thoroughly in together
with a knife-blade till the composition was as soft as butter. This
thorough maceration is essential to produce a durable body. With this I
filled up the holes, made new noses, and painted the whole with Vandyke
brown, or brown-black. In a few minutes the restoration was complete,
and the heads which had cost one franc each are now worth at least
thirty francs. I should say that the portions restored are as hard as
the original wood.

It is not always an easy matter to reduce paper to a perfectly soft
paste, such as is called in French _papier-pourri_. A small quantity
can be mashed with a knife-blade and flour-paste or gum. A large
quantity is prepared as follows:--

Take clippings of paper and leave them a long time in water, which
must be occasionally changed. When quite dissolved or soft, bray the
paper in a mortar, and finally boil in very hot water. To give it
consistency, add flour-paste or gum. This makes a very fine cement,
which will receive the most delicate impression. It is invaluable for
all kinds of dry mending.

As I have shown, it can be applied to make or mend defective leaves of
books, to fill up worm-holes in leaves, to repair drawings and pictures
on wood or canvas, and when mixed with any gum which sets hard, to
restore, add to, fill, or imitate woodwork. Under pressure and combined
with different powders it becomes as hard as ebony and fire-proof. Its
extraordinary value and general utility are as yet very far from being
much known.



Mending or repairing _stone_, involving its imitations, is a widely
extended branch of technical science, and one which has of late years
called forth much invention. The most widely spread and ancient means
of uniting and repairing this material is mortar, or the mixture of
burned and then slacked lime with water. Lime is made most commonly
from limestone or marble. It improves in quality when carbonate of
lime in organic formation, such as sea-shells, is used; and there are
degrees of excellence in these, from common oyster-shells to others
of a finer kind, such as those with which the brilliantly white and
hard _chunam_ of India is made. In certain places mortar, when well
made, becomes with age as hard as flint. In American towns, where
anthracite coal is burned, it rots away in chimneys under the influence
of sulphurous acid with great rapidity. In the Pacific Islands, where
lime is made from delicate small sea-shells or coral, and mortar is
like a paint or enamel, a missionary has recorded that, when he taught
the natives how to make it, they whitewashed everything, even to the
children, who thus became white people.

The misapplied word _mastic_, which suggests a gum, refers to certain
modifications of mortar into which _oil_ enters; also the oxides of
lead or zinc. “Oil forms with these an insoluble soap, which includes
or binds the other materials, forming, after one month’s drying, a very
hard substance,” which some say is as hard as stone, but which depends
entirely on the quality and combination; for I have seen so-called
_mastic_ applied to coating cheaply built houses, which cracked or
crumbled away like mere plaster of Paris.

To thoroughly amalgamate mastics, it is usual to put their ingredients
into casks which are two-thirds filled, and then revolved by machinery.
The oil is then added. At least two days are required for the process.
The following recipes for mastics are among the best, having been
approved by LEHNER. It may here be remarked, once for all, not only
as regards mastics, but all recipes in this work, that unless the
materials indicated are of the very best quality, and the processes be
most thoroughly carried out, the experimenter cannot expect complete
success. More than this, the experimenter must not be satisfied with a
single trial. If every recipe could be at once executed by every cook,
we should find the most exquisite cookery on every table in Europe.
I once published the correct recipe for making objects of a peculiar
kind of _papier-mâché_ hardened. It was very easy to make. I had seen
specimens of the ware, and I received the recipe from the inventor.
Moreover, a great deal of money had been made by it. However, soon
after I had published it I received an indignant letter from the head
of a large manufacturing house, stating that they had tried my recipe
and utterly failed!


  Quartz or flint sand, parts         300
  Powdered quicklime,     ”           100
  Litharge,               ”            50
  Linseed-oil,            ”            35


  Flint sand                          315
  Washed chalk                        105
  White lead                           25
  Minium                               10
  Sugar of lead in solution            45
  Linseed-oil                          35

The paste or “dough” thus formed should be ground with horizontal
rollers in a mill, such as is used for chocolate, until all the
ingredients are _very_ thoroughly amalgamated.

A VERY GOOD CEMENT FOR MENDING, especially where the objects are
exposed to water, whether they be of stone or earthenware, is made as

  Powdered glass                       40
  Washed litharge                      40
  Linseed-oil varnish                  20

The powdered glass is prepared by heating glass red-hot, casting it
into water, grinding and sifting it. This powder is saturated with the
linseed-oil varnish, and heated in a kettle. This cement sets hard in
three days. LEHNER observes that glass-powder serves in such recipes to
resist the action of acids, &c., since it forms in combination on the
surface a glaze of great hardness; that is, the glass and lead form a
chemical combination. Pulverised calcined glass therefore acts not as
an “indifferent” but as a chemical ingredient.

CASEINE, or Cheese, forms the basis of several recipes for mending
stone, as when there are holes in a block or the mortar has given way.
To prepare it for use (LEHNER), we let milk stand in a cool place,
skimming away with the utmost care all the cream. Place this on a
filter, and pour on it rain-water till it is purified from every trace
of lactic acid; then tie it in a cloth, boil it in water, and spread
it on blotting-paper in a warm place, when it will be a horn-like
substance. This will keep for a long time. To prepare it for use, rub
it in a saucer with water.

TO MEND STONE make the following:--

  Caseine                              12
  Slacked lime                         50
  Fine sand                            50

Another recipe:--

Boil new cheese in water till it draws out in threads, stirring in
slacked lime and sifted wood-ashes in the following proportions:--

  Cheese                              100
  Water                               200
  Slacked lime                         25
  Wood-ashes                           20

This may also be used to close cavities in trees or in wood.

A CHEESE CEMENT FOR STONE, and for many other purposes, is made as
follows. It may be kept for a long time, and is very durable (LEHNER):--

  Caseine                             200
  Calcined lime                        40
  Camphor                               1

This must be closely incorporated and kept well corked. When it is to
be used mix it with water, and apply at once.

The following cement was used by the Romans especially in setting
mosaics. It becomes as hard as marble, and sets with great
rapidity:--To one quart of milk add the white of five eggs, and stir in
powdered quicklime till a paste is formed. This composition may be used
to repair or make _scagliola_, which is fragments of marble or stone
embedded in a hard mass. When it sets, polish the surface with rasps,
and rub down with a rough stone, and finally polish with marble dust,
and then emery or tripoli. Beautiful slabs for tables, columns, floors,
and walls can thus be made. It is valuable for repairing.

CERESA is allied to this. We make a basis of this or any other cement
which will _hold firmly_, and press into the surface powdered glass,
which may be fine or of any degree of coarseness. Coarse grains shine
most brilliantly; fine powder is best adapted to delicate shading.
The effect is best when mosaic stones and gold cubes are sparingly
introduced. To make the gold cubes, take two small panes of window
glass, cover one side of each with varnish or mastic cement, lay
between them gold-leaf, and join them. Very beautiful pictures can be
made in this manner. Nor is it at all necessary that they should be
finely executed for ordinary decoration. All that is needed for this
beautiful and little-known art is the cement, a quantity of glass or
stone of different colours, and a mortar and pestle. The mosaic cubes,
with those of gold, can be bought in London.

Allied to this is an art which I believe I can claim to have invented.
It consists of breaking waste chinaware, crockery, or fictile ware
into small squares or triangles, and setting them as mosaic in
cement. The advantage of it is the cheapness of the material, and the
infinite number of shades of colour which can be selected for it.
Its disadvantage is, that it will not wear as a pavement, but it is
perfectly adapted to walls.


  Slacked lime                         40
  Brick-dust                           10
  Iron filings                         10
  Ox-blood                              8
  Water                                 8

The blood is stirred as it comes from the slaughtered beast with a
broom for ten minutes to break the fibre. It should then be mixed with
the water and kneaded with the powder. Glue may be substituted for the
blood. This cement, if properly made, sets very hard and adhesively.


  Slacked lime                        100
  Sifted stone-coal ashes              50
  Stirred ox-blood                     15

It may be observed that many of the cheaper cements can be employed to
form large bricks by combination with broken stone or rubble, gravel,
pebbles, brickbats, &c. Another method, called CONCRETE, is to make
cases of boards, and to form a solid wall by pouring in the mixture,
or ramming it down, according to its hardness. Thus a house is made
entirely in one piece; but its excellence depends entirely on the
quality of the cement employed, and on the care taken in building.
Simple lime mortar, if not of a superior quality, hastily formed, as I
have seen, is very apt to crack and break off. Where hydraulic cement
is cheap and good, houses can be built as firm as granite. A good and
strong cement of this kind can be made as follows:--

  Burned lime                          10
  Caseine                              12
  Hydraulic cement                     30

The proportions may be very much varied in such cements according to
their price, but generally with a satisfactory result.

Fractures or discolorations in marble, as in statuary, are so perfectly
repaired in Florence that the juncture is not perceptible. Even dark
spots are drilled out. The process is to drill a round concave hole,
and cut the piece to be inserted so as to exactly fit as a convex
plug. It is then fastened in with transparent mastic or other clear
cement. It will be seen, on due consideration, that this is extremely
ingenious, because by it alone can a perfectly tight fit be secured.
By turning the plug in the hollow it speedily grinds itself into an
accurate plug; so when the cement is applied it can be reduced to a
minimum--in fact, by this means the line of junction is reduced to its
finest limit.

Where a very strong cement is needed for stone-work, it can be prepared
by mixing a fine cement powder--_e.g._, Portland cement--with liquid
silicate of soda. As it dries almost at once, it must be promptly
applied. It is particularly well adapted for building under water,
since it then becomes extremely hard. Before applying it smear the
stone with pure silicate.

The following is highly commended by LEHNER:--

Mending statues of gypsum or plaster of Paris is allied to stone-work.
The broken edges are washed with water till no more is absorbed and the
surface remains wet. Then stir fresh calcined white plaster of Paris
with much water to a thin paste, and continue to stir this till it is
cold. Then rapidly paint this paste on the broken edges, continuing to
press the two together till they set hard.

It is, says LEHNER, a peculiarity of gypsum that when mixed with _alum_
dissolved in water it takes a much longer time to harden, but is very
much harder in the end. Thus, if we let the powdered gypsum lie for
twenty-four hours in alum-water, dry it, and then calcine it again, the
powder when mixed with water sets to a stone as hard as marble.

Plaster of Paris and alum, combined with the fine powder of calcined
glass, form a very hard and durable cement, of very general utility in
all mending of stone-work.

For an exhaustive work on the subject of not only mending stone-work,
but also of making artificial stone and many cements, as well as
combining and adapting to use paper, cellulose, sawdust and shavings,
gypsum, chalk, glue, &c., including not only ancient but also the
most recent recipes, consult _Die Fabrikation künstlicher plastischer
Massen_, by Johannes Hofer; Leipzig, A. Hartleben, price 4s.


Works of art in carved ivory or bone are very valuable when perfect,
yet when broken or defective they may very often be purchased for
a trifle. Yet the process of mending them or restoring the missing
portions is not difficult.

The first thing to consider is the colour. When old ivory has only
acquired a delicate hue, as of Naples yellow, this adds to its
attractiveness; nor are the brownish shadows and marks which gather
in the angles of the reliefs repulsive. These may be left untouched,
and even imitated. But a great deal of old ivory becomes of blackish
bistre, or of a dirty, spotted brown or neutral tint, which has nothing
in common with artistic effect, and suggests, like old slums in cities,
more that is repulsive than picturesque. To clean such pieces, dissolve
rock-alum in rain-water till it is white or forms a full saturation.
Boil this, and keep the ivory in the boiling solution for about an
hour, taking it out from time to time and cleaning it with a soft
brush. Then let it dry in a damp linen or muslin rag; it will then be

Ivory is often bleached by the simple process of damping, or wiping
it with water and then exposing it to the rays of the sun; which
must, however, be frequently repeated. According to LEHNER, the only
perfect and certain process by which any ivory can be cleaned is to
steep the article for some time in ether or benzole, in order to
extract any fatty matter, then to wash it in water, and finally keep
it in super-oxide of hydrogen (_Wasserstoff, super-oxide_) till it is
bleached, after which wash again in water.

TO SUPPLY MISSING PORTIONS.--Take ivory-dust, such as can be bought of
every ivory-turner, sift it to an impalpable powder, or else levigate
or grind it down under water as fine as flour in a mortar. Then combine
this with gum arabic, in alum solution, or the silicate of potash.
Egg-shells, levigated, may be substituted for the ivory-dust, and are
even less likely to turn grey; and very fine white glue or gelatine of
the clearest kind may be substituted for the gum-arabic.

LOUIS EDGAR ANDÉS, in his able work on Ivory, Horn, Mother-of-Pearl,
and Tortoise-shell, explains a process much like that already
described. According to him, take finely powdered bone (or ivory-dust),
combine it with white of eggs, and the result will be an intensely hard
substance, which can be turned or carved like ivory. To perfect this
the mass should be subjected to a heat of from 50° to 60° centigrade,
and then to strong pressure. Gelatine or best glue, with glycerine, is
quite as good as the white of eggs, and it may to advantage be combined
with the latter. Having very thoroughly mixed the composition, take
the broken ivory article, repair the missing portions, and fill the
cavities with the paste. Though not equal to celluloid as an imitation
of new and fresh ivory, this cement is very much like old bone and
ivory, and _after a little experimenting_ the artistic amateur may
succeed in so blending the _binder_ or adhesive with the dust as to
take casts which are almost perfect imitations of the originals. But
let it be observed in this, as in everything, one must not expect
perfect success at a first trial, as too many do.

When the paste is dry, smooth the surface with a sharp cutter, so as to
remove any small projections, and then polish it, first with fine emery
or tripoli, then with a burnisher, finally by hand.

If you have, for example, an old flat plate of ivory, like one of the
fourteenth century now before me, which I bought for a mere trifle
because it was broken, lay it in an exactly fitting box--a strip of tin
in a square will answer--and fill in the vacancy. The missing ornament
on the upper side can be carved, or even supplied from a hardened stamp
or mould of rolled soft bread-crumb. This bread-crumb can be made very
hard by admixture with a very little nitric acid and water. Imitation
meerschaum pipes, which are rather like ivory or bone, are made from
this composition by pressure.

I may here mention that this ivory or bone cement, which is little
known, is admirably adapted to repair broken inlaying. There was
in Florence, in the sixteenth century, an extensive manufacture of
delicate bas-reliefs for small caskets from _lime and rice_, which
greatly resembled bone or ivory. It was extremely durable, probably
from being extremely well worked. Specimens of it bring a high price.

A very slight infusion of Naples yellow, to which a suspicion of
brown, reduced in Chinese white, has been added, gives to the paste an
old-ivory colour. The corners and outlines may be shaded in Vandyke

Before attempting to glue or mastic fractured ivories, they should
always be washed in the alum solution, else they will often refuse to

When there is a little addition of whiting and a little oil, very well
worked into the ivory paste, and it is allowed to dry thoroughly, it
may be cut or carved into any shape.

Ivory or bone when very old becomes brittle or crumbling and falls
to powder, because certain organic substances dry out of it, leaving
chiefly lime as their residue. When the ivories from Nineveh were
brought to the British Museum the celebrated Sir Joseph Hooker
suggested that they should be steeped in gelatine. This effected a
perfect restoration. When a case occurs in which an ivory article, a
bone, or skull is so fragile that it will not bear the slightest touch
without falling to dust, it may often be saved by gently _spraying_ on
it water in which gelatine or glue has been dissolved. As the glue may
be made by boiling old gloves, and as a spray can be easily improvised,
it will be seen that excavators and openers of ancient tombs might
by this means save thousands of curious relics which are allowed to
perish. As it is certainly a species of mending or of restoration, it
is in place in this work. This is especially to be desired as to skulls
of the earliest ages, which are of inestimable value, of which we have
so very few, and of which thousands have perished which might have been
preserved in the manner which I have indicated.

_Sprays_ for spreading perfume or medicated liquids, which can be
adapted to thin liquid glue, may be had of all chemists. But we can
effect the purpose better by taking a tooth-brush, or any brush of
the kind, wetting, and then drawing it over a dull edge of a knife or
a strip of tin. According to J. C. WIEGLEB, a Frenchman in his time
received a very large pension for this invention, which was applied
to spraying pastels. The Romans made a spray, very imperfectly, by
suddenly squeezing or throwing liquids from a sponge.

Ivory handles to knives and forks, when loose, can be best reset by
first pouring in a little strong vinegar. When dry use acidulated glue.
A common recipe for this purpose is the following:--

  Resin (colophonium)            20 parts
  Sulphur                         5   ”
  Iron filings                    8   ”

Heat, and use while soft.

In repairing ivory it is often necessary to stain it of different
colours. Most of the old works on recipes contain directions for this.
In that of RIS PAQUOT they are given as follows:--

First prepare a mixture of copper filings, rock-alum, and Roman
vitriol. Boil it, let it be for six days, then add a little rock-alum.
The piece of ivory to be dyed is kept in this solution for half
an-hour. _To dye Red._--Boil logwood chips or cochineal in water; when
hot add lead dross (_cendre gravelée_) about 25 grammes, keep it in the
fire till the colour has taken, then add rock-alum. This is strained
through linen, and the ivory to be dyed is put into this liquor.
_Green._--Take one quart of lye made from vine-ashes (_cendre de
sarment_), 7 grammes of powdered verdigris, a handful of common salt,
with a little alum. Boil it to one-half; as soon as it is taken from
the fire place the ivory in it, and leave it till properly coloured.
_Blue._--Dissolve indigo and potash in water, and then mix this with
a quart of vine-ash lye. _Black._--Boil the ivory in the following
composition:--Vinegar, 500 grammes; gall-nuts pulverised, 12 grammes;
nut-shells, 12 grammes. Boil down to one-half. These are all very
strong dyes, which may be used for other substances.

“Ivory can be softened and made almost plastic by soaking in phosphoric
acid. When washed with water, pressed, and dried, it will regain its
former consistency.” Ivory-dust thus treated can be really rendered
plastic. The process requires care.

In the _Magia Naturalis_ of HILDEBRAND, a work of the sixteenth
century, we are told that ivory can be imitated or repaired with a
cement made of powdered egg-shells, gum-arabic in solution, and the
white of eggs. Dry it in the sun.

Allied to ivory is Horn. Deer-horn was frequently used as a material
whence to make a substance which was moulded into many forms. For
this purpose the hardest part of the horns was selected and filed or
powdered, and then boiled in strong potash lye. Thus it became a paste,
which was promptly pressed into moulds. When dry the figures were
carefully polished. Ox-horn can be treated in the same manner. When
cracked, carved horns or powder-flasks can be mended with this paste;
also with mastic and whiting. Horn in a soft state is easily coloured
by mixing with it any dye.[3]

It has been recently complained in a leading review, in an article on
sales of ancient works of art, that imitations of antique works of
ivory are now carried to such perfection that even the learned in such
matters have been deceived. This is perfectly true, and therefore it
is the greater pity that such imitation, which is not necessarily very
expensive, cannot be extended to our great museums, the wealthiest of
which thus far seldom get beyond rough, plain plaster-casts to make
duplicates of ivory-work. The artists in imitation seem to be entirely
in the employ of the people who deliberately sell counterfeits for
genuine relics of antiquity. But, as Martin Luther or some one once
remarked in reference to adapting hymns to popular airs, “There was no
reason why the devil should keep all the good tunes to himself,” so is
there none why duplicates of thousands of exquisite works in ivory,
bone, and horn should not be better known to the world. It is possible
that, to the world at large, there is little _real_ interest in such
works; but interest will come in time with familiarity.

_Apropos_ to ivory, or horn, there is a process of applying an
imitation of them to any kind of surface, which is, when executed with
skill, remarkably effective. It is chiefly executed in Vienna, where
it is applied to leather, plaster of Paris, wood, and wall-paper. With
variations, it is essentially as follows:--

Cover the ground with flexible varnish, then paint over this with light
Naples yellow, graduated as nicely to some old ivory model as possible.
It is best not to have it all too uniformly of one tone, since old work
often has its shades. The object here need not be to ape or copy old
work, but to catch what is beautiful in it. Then fill in the outlines
of the pattern, and the dots and irregularities near it, or anywhere,
with brown more or less dark. For this, study old ivory. Then varnish
with SOEHNÉE, No. 3. A great deal depends on the quality of this second
coat. Finally rub down very thoroughly with chamois and hand, and
repeat the process more than once if you want it very much like ivory.
Very extraordinary and perfect imitations of ivory, bone, worn and
glossy parchment and brown leather, wood, marble--in short, of any kind
of work of art which has been rubbed and worn smooth by hand during
centuries, can be made by this process of ivorying with alternate
layers of varnish, colour, varnish, and so on.

When there is no relief the paint itself can be worked with wheel and
tracer, and then repainted and varnished. This is a very beautiful art,
specially applicable to book-covers, and often useful in repairing old
work. I would here repeat what I said, that the object of imitating
effects in old works of art, or in other kinds of art--which is so
staunchly repudiated by mere artisans who themselves are generally
only imitators of the designs of others--is not to make counterfeits,
but to take from age or art beautiful effects, however produced,
and apply them to work. Those who are too conscientious to execute
stencilling on a wall, or to use moulds for leather-work, would do
well to first consider whether they _know enough_ to design a really
good or admirable stencil, or an excellent mould, for it is in the
genius which originates and executes, not in the mere means, tools, and
materials employed, that art consists. Art does not depend in the least
on either making skill difficult or in rendering its methods easy; it
displays skill, but scorns the Chinese standard of mere industry. An
artist like ALBERT DÜRER would never have prided himself on only using
certain tools as being “artistic;” he would, however, have made designs
which would have forced originality and art into a photograph. There
are marvellous effects of corrugation in ancient walls, plays of light
and shade and colour and polish in rock and strand and heaps of ashes,
which LEONARDO DA VINCI knew how to catch and transfer to different
subjects, and at which perhaps the artisans of his time sneered as “not

Age, which gives a certain exquisite charm to wine and words of wisdom,
has done the same to all material things, of which, indeed, it may be
strangely said that wherever it does not destroy a charm it confers
one, like moonlight, which renders nightly shadows more terrible or
else more beautiful.

It is to be regretted that this principle, which is a very important
one, is but little understood. The manufacturers of all decorative
art work at present endeavour without exception to make everything
staringly, cruelly brand new, or else a mere copy of old work. What
they need is to draw, as REMBRANDT did, from age so much of its
peculiar charm as is adaptable to modern work.

I have introduced these remarks because the mender and restorer of old
ivories and bookbindings and pictures, if he regards his occupation as
an art--which it really is--is peculiarly adapted to fully appreciate
them. Restoring, like copying, leads to creating new work. I think that
any person of ordinary intelligence can, with zeal and application,
learn to mend anything as described in this work, and from such mending
it is much easier to learn to make works of minor art. “Short the step
from senator to _podestá_--shorter the step from _podestá_ to king.”

A great merit and peculiarity of ivory, as of horn, is that it is
tough and elastic, as well as of a beautiful transparent or diaphanous
quality. These characteristics have, with the exception of its graining
or texture, been well imitated thus far only in _celluloid_, which is
unfortunately too expensive for very general use, and, what is worse,
too liable to destruction. I, however, confidently anticipate that
ere long some substance will be discovered much superior to celluloid
as a substitute, and probably much cheaper and less perishable. To
_celluloid_ I may, however, add the sulphuretted preparations of
caoutchouc and gutta-percha, known as vulcanite or ebonite. These are
indeed hard, tough, and elastic to perfection, but very dark and opaque.

LEHNER, in his work _Die Imitationen_, observes that imitations of
ivory must be varied to suit the colour and quality of originals.
This requires a study, firstly, of the adhesive or glue which is to
be used. This, when colourless, is known as French gelatine, and is
very expensive. In lieu thereof the experimenter may take best white
Salisbury glue or gum-arabic prepared with alum-water. Secondly, the
body, which may be of carbonate of magnesia, carbonate of lime, such as
powdered marble, sulphuretted lime, or powdered gypsum, chalk, starch,
or flour, white oxide of tin, zinc, sulphate of barytes or Chinese
white, white oxide of lead. In combining, _e.g._, magnesia with the
glue, an addition of ten per cent. of glycerine gives elasticity and
a horn-like clearness. To harden artificial ivory made with glue, the
objects are dipped into strong solution of alum or tannin for about
four minutes. The tannin is best made from gall-apples. Objects thus
made have an antique ivory, yellowish hue. Red chrome alkali may be
used in solution with water instead of tannin, but it gives a stronger

According to HYATT’S patent, artificial ivory is made by combining a
syrup made of eight parts shellac and three parts of ammoniac with
forty of the oxide of zinc. This is heated and subjected to pressure.

CELLULOID is the best material for making artificial ivory. It is made
by the combination of cellulose or vegetable fibre in the form of
cotton-wool treated with acid; that is to say, gun-cotton and camphor.
It is sold in thin leaves, &c., which can be softened at from 100°
to 125° centigrade, so as to be moulded to any form. By infusion of
colouring matter, such as oxide of zinc, cinnabar, &c., celluloid is
made to resemble ivory, coral, or tortoise-shell. It has often been
applied to making a perfect imitation of Florentine mosaic, and of
course serves admirably to repair such work when broken.

A very strong cement for ivory, bone, or fine wood is made by boiling
transparent gelatine in water to a thick mass. Add to this gum-mastic
dissolved in alcohol, this solution being one-fourth, and stir into
it pure white oxide of zinc till it forms a fluid like honey. This is
also of itself an artificial ivory, when prepared and dried in the
mass. Another can be made by combining diamond cement (_vide_ Glass)
with powdered ivory and a little glycerine. Also with the same, or
very strong white glue and powdered egg-shells, which latter should
have been boiled. Also white of egg, gum-arabic, a very little strong
vinegar, and levigated egg-shells.

Another recipe for such mending or making of ivory and similar
substances is to take soft and very white paper in pulp, combined with
cotton-wool, treated with very dilute acid or _strong_ vinegar. To
this add powdered egg-shells, made into paste with a little glycerine;
amalgamate this with the paper and cotton mixture as thoroughly as
possible, and submit to strong pressure or rolling.

CELLULOSE in any form, whether made from cotton, linen, wood, or other
vegetable fibrous substance, affords a basis which can be treated
with dilute acid to produce a horny or parchment-like substance. A
modification of this is seen in making celluloid with camphor. These
modified forms of organic creation can be combined with other organic
substances or minerals in great variety. Thus glycerine, and at times
oil of different kinds, in such admixtures confers elasticity, or a
diaphanous appearance; ivory-dust has an affinity for oil and glue; and
these all combine with parchment, boiled ivory-dust, and fibrine or

Certain marine plants, such as _kelp_, yield a fibrous substance which
has very peculiar qualities, and which admits of ingenious combination.
Certain experiments and observations convince me that there is here
a vast field, as yet unexplored, in which science will yet make
discoveries and afford valuable contributions to technology.

The reader who is specially interested in this subject may consult to
advantage _Die Verarbeitung des Hornes, Elfenbeines, Schildpatts und
der Perlenmutter_, &c., von Louis Edgar Andés; Vienna, A. Hartleben,
price 3s.



Amber has been admired in all ages and everywhere from its exquisite
colour and semi-transparency. Many superstitions were attached to it,
and many still believe that to carry a bead made from it is good for
the eyesight. It is principally found on the Prussian coast, off the
German Ocean, but is also picked up in considerable quantities on the
English shore. It is the gum or resin of a now extinct species of pine,
which was probably much like that in New Zealand, which produces the
gum _kauri_, which so much resembles amber.

Some amber is yellow and clear like lemon-candy. This is extensively
imitated for cigar-holders and pipe-mouthpieces, beads, &c. Then there
is the clouded, varying from white to straw-colour, and the beautiful
golden-brown, which appears so rich in sunlight; also the dark-brown
and black. These dark-brown ambers are generally seen in old ornaments,
and are of a kind which is dug out of the earth. Light amber can be
darkened to brown by an artificial process.

Gum _copal_, which comes from Africa, much resembles amber, but is less
beautiful and more brittle. Gum _kauri_, from New Zealand, is very much
like it. Both are used to imitate amber.

There are not many who know how to mend amber when broken. I am assured
that the following is a trustworthy method:--Warm the pieces, dampen
them with caustic potash (_ætz-kali_), and then press them together.
When well done the joining will not be perceptible. It is said that by
this process small pieces of amber, amber-dust, &c., can be made into

In imitating amber, the best pieces of copal are picked out, put into
an air-tight vessel, and dissolved in petroleum, sulphuric ether, or
benzole. After being dried in blocks this is submitted to a great
pressure. As it dries the pressure is increased.

It occurred to me many years ago that the proper way to unite copal to
a tough body like amber would be to use a tough or flexible varnish
as a binding medium. I find by the work of LEHNER on Imitations that
he has verified this by experiment. What is also important is, that
the process of hardening by pressure is by this means very much
facilitated. I should judge, by all chemical laws, that a varnish
infused with glycerine in combination with copal, kauri, or amber-dust
would, even without pressure, form in time a substance quite as hard as
amber, and much less brittle. It is to be desired that some technist
would experiment on a variety of gums in this manner, and thus _fix_
or render permanent their beauty. There is a wide field here to be
worked. The subject of meerschaum and amber is fully treated in a work
entitled _Die Meerschaum- und Bernstein-Fabrikationen_, von G. M.
Raufer; Vienna, A. Hartleben, 2 marks.

I may add that carving amber is a very elegant art, yielding beautiful
results. I have known a young lady, the late Miss Catherine L. Bayard,
who excelled in it. It is effected chiefly with fine files and emery
or glass paper, as, owing to its extremely brittle nature, there
is much risk for any save experts to use cutting tools. Amber is a
very expensive material, but objects made from it are of more than
proportionate value. Those who would practise carving it should begin
with pieces of copal. As I have already explained, small fragments and
the dust of both amber and copal can be melted and combined with clear
turpentine into large masses, which are even tougher than the native

An inferior, but still very pretty, imitation of amber can be made
by combining almost any gum properly clarified and coloured; as, for
instance, gum-arabic or dextrine with gelatine (best quality white) and
glycerine. If thoroughly well combined and dried, this will wear as
well as amber. Some of the gums of fruit-trees--_e.g._, of the peach
and cherry--are very beautifully coloured and clear, and seem to be
admirably adapted to be hardened by the same process. They occur very
frequently in old books of recipes as adhesives or cements. Perfectly
clear glue or gelatine with glycerine and transparent dyes form an
excellent imitation for beads.



Indiarubber or gutta-percha enters into so many familiar and useful
objects that there are few people who would not like to know how to
repair them when injured.

Like the brittle or non-elastic gums, caoutchouc (with which I include
the nearly allied gutta-percha) is greatly modified by admixture with
certain pulverised substances, which form with it a partly mechanical,
partly chemical, combination. Those who would thoroughly study the
subject in all its relations may consult _Kautschuk_ (_Caoutchouc_)
_und Guttapercha_, von Raimund Hoffer; Wien, 1892, Hartleben.

Caoutchouc is partially soluble in carburetted sulphur, ether, pure
petroleum, or benzole, but gutta-percha is perfectly so. In this state
it may be applied as a varnish or coating for repairs, as it hardens
by exposure to the air. When mixed with sulphur and exposed to a
heat of 110° to 115° centigrade, gutta-percha becomes what is called
“vulcanised,” assuming a very light grey colour, is more elastic, and
retains this elasticity at a much lower grade than before. When the
heat is raised to (maximum) 180° the mass becomes very hard, tough,
and black, or like horn. The conditions of its toughness, elasticity,
and hardness depend upon the amount of sulphur used; as in other
combinations, the harder the material becomes the less elastic it
is--that is, the more brittle.

EBONITE is extremely hardened caoutchouc. It is first treated with
chlorine, washed with sulphate of soda infused in water, and finally
mixed with hardening substances and submitted to severe pressure.

As indiarubber or “gum” shoes are in general use, most people would
consider them the proper objects to begin with. To do this, first make
two separate preparations as follows:


  Caoutchouc                           10
  Chloroform                          280


  Caoutchouc                           10
  Resin                                 4
  Turpentine                            2
  Oil of turpentine                    40

No. I. is simply kept for a time in a bottle or tightly closed jar by
itself. No. II. is made by cutting the gum very fine, mixing it with
the resin, then adding the turpentine, and finally dissolving the whole
in the oil of turpentine. Then combine I. and II. To repair the shoe,
take a linen patch, steep it in the mixture, and place it over the
rent. When this is dry apply one or more coats.

It may be observed that this preparation may be used not only for
indiarubber shoes, but many other objects. Applied to the soles of
leather boots, and then heated in, repeating the process a few times,
they become perfectly waterproof. This is better when the shoemaker
makes a coating of it between the two soles. I have tested this often.
The inner sole may be made by simply dissolving the indiarubber in
benzole or ether. A solution for ordinary repairing can be made by
simply steeping the indiarubber in benzine.

Rents or holes in ordinary leather shoes or other objects can be very
well repaired in this way. A piece of leather can in this case be
substituted for the linen rag. Boots or shoes which will be very much
exposed to wet should be warmed and then soaked or permeated with a
solution of indiarubber. Preparations for the purpose can be bought of
all dealers in gum and gutta-percha.

Cloth is generally waterproofed by steeping it in a slight solution of

Another recipe (LEHNER) is as follows:--

  Caoutchouc                          150
  Tallow                               10
  Slacked lime                         10

This is used to cork or close bottles. To render it more resistant,
substitute pipeclay for the lime. Or if in place of either we use red
oxide of lead, it will form in time an extremely hard and perfectly
waterproof cement of great value.


  Caoutchouc,                     about 90
  Pulverised sulphur                    10
        Or from 6 to 12 of the latter.

This is specially commended as useful to close tins containing fruits,
&c. It is simply vulcanised indiarubber.

MARINE GLUE is a very valuable and generally useful cement. It is
so called because, being perfectly waterproof, it is used for many
purposes in ships. It is applicable not only to repairing indiarubber
or gutta-percha garments, but also to objects of metal, wood, glass,
stone, paper, or cloth; as, for instance, umbrellas, on which, when
torn, a patch or strip of silk or muslin may be gummed, which will last
as long as the rest. It is also good for waterproofing shoes. It is
sold by dealers in ships’ stores, chemists, and others. “It is a good
thing to have in the country.”


  Caoutchouc                           10
  Rectified petroleum                 120
  Asphalt                              20

To prepare this, the caoutchouc should be hung in a linen bag in a
cask with a very large bung, or in a large jar, so that the bag shall
be only half immersed. This is kept in a warm place for from ten to
fourteen days, till the solution is effected. Then the asphaltum
may be melted in an iron kettle. Let the rubber solution slowly run
into the kettle over a gentle heat, and stir in the one to the other
till the mass is thoroughly preserved are put in the bag; the edge
is then turned incorporated. When this is effected pour the mixture
into moulds which have been oiled to prevent adhesion. The result is
dark brown or black thin cakes, which are broken with difficulty. The
excellence of this cement is somewhat counteracted by the difficulty
or care which must be observed in using it. To do this, put the vessel
in which it is to be melted in another or a _balneum mariæ_, as for
glue, filled with boiling water. When fluid take the kettle from the
fire and subject it directly to heat till it attains a temperature of
150° centigrade. When it is possible, heat the object to be glued to
100°. The thinner the coat and the hotter the surface the better will
it adhere, unless the objects be such as hard boards. In all cases as
strong a pressure as possible should be employed to bring the two parts
together, which should be continued till the glue has dried. Boxes
which are cemented together by means of marine glue and are also nailed
are of extraordinary strength, and may be thus made air-tight and
waterproof. Those who intend to send articles which can be affected by
sea-air, such as silks and tea, which change their colour and quality
even when packed in the tightest ordinary cases, should employ boxes
well secured with good marine glue. It is also invaluable to secure
clothing against moths, for if anything be very thoroughly dusted and
there are no moths in it, none can get in if it be enclosed in a box
rendered air-tight.

_Apropos_ of which I would say that in America moths, which are far
more of a pest than in Europe, are effectively excluded by means of
bags of strong paper, well tarpaulined or tarred. The objects to be
over and warmed, so that it seals itself up. Strong paper bags are
better than any trunks to exclude moths, but they must always be well
gummed up. Tobacco is no protection at all against these insects. I
have even had an old woollen Turkish tobacco-bag which had been in use
ten years, and which was partly full of tobacco, almost devoured by
moths, which must have eaten no small quantity of tobacco in so doing.
Nor is camphor or any other scent half as effective as hermetic closing
in some substance which insects will not eat.

LEHNER gives a suggestion regarding the rendering walls air-tight which
is of such remarkable practical utility that it ought to be enforced by
health laws in every house. Whenever walls have any tendency to absorb
dampness--and all have it in damp weather, especially in underground
rooms--it is _far_ more dangerous than is generally supposed to put
paper on them. This is so much the case that where workmen, from
carelessness, paste one coat of paper over another on a damp wall,
the mass in time gives out a very poisonous exhalation, so that an
instance is recorded in which several people died, one after the other,
in consequence of sleeping in such a room. To prevent this take the
following waterproof cement:--

  Caoutchouc                           10
  Washed chalk                         10
  Oil of turpentine                    20
  Bisulphide of carbon                 10
  Resin (colophonium)                   5
  Asphalt                               5

These are combined in a large flask, kept in a moderately warm place,
and often shaken till well incorporated. The wall to be covered should
be brushed and wiped, and in some cases heated, until extremely dry.
Then, using the cement, apply the paper in the ordinary way. It will
stick with great tenacity, this being a very tight and strong glue.
All wall-paper whatever is more or less productive of malaria in damp
weather, as is the smell of a _damp_ library, or one where the scent
of old paper is rankly and offensively perceptible. Therefore every
precaution should be taken to render it innocuous.

Even if no paper be applied, this cement is very valuable when simply
used to coat the interior or exterior of damp walls. It can, of course,
be used to repair many articles of indiarubber, and to mend shoes, tan
garments, &c. _Apropos_ of which latter I may here remark that all
persons who intend to rough it in the bush as colonists, or go into
any region where mending or getting mended is difficult--as I myself
have many a time experienced--would do well to carry a tight tin box of
waterproof glue, with which torn shoes, and very often torn clothes,
can be promptly repaired. In fact, with the aid of a little rough
stitching, or even without it, garments of leather, muslin, and even
of cloth can be made to hold together with certain cements, which will
literally bind anything.

It is well worth while for those who propose to live in the wilderness,
wherever it may be, to know how to prepare or make indiarubber
garments. The recipe is very easily made:--

  Gutta-percha                         10
  Benzine                             100
  Linseed-oil varnish                 100

The gutta-percha is dissolved in the benzine; the solution, when clear,
is poured into a bottle already containing the varnish, and all is
then thoroughly shaken. This mixture, when spread on woven fabrics of
any kind, renders them completely waterproof. The garments can then
be cut out and “sewed;” that is, bound together with the same cement.
According to LEHNER, this cement can be used for making the soles of
shoes, and is marvellously elastic. All travellers, and assuredly all
housekeepers, should have this cement among their possessions.

It may also happen to a traveller to find himself with an aching
hollow tooth in a region where no dentist is accessible. Should he
have with him some gutta-percha (bleached is best for this purpose) he
may combine it with very finely pulverised glass. (To _levigate_ or
powder anything as fine as flour, it must be pounded in a mortar, or on
metal or hard stone _under water_.) Then warm and thoroughly mix the
gutta-percha and glass. Make it into little pencils, which, when they
are to be used, must be dipped in hot water. This cement may be also
used for a great variety of other purposes.

A very admirable cement, which should be found in every stable and
known to every one who owns a horse, is made as follows:--

  Hartshorn and resin ammoniacum (_Ammoniakharz_)     10
  Purified gutta-percha                                 20-25

Heat the gutta-percha to 90°-100° centigrade, and thoroughly
incorporate it with the powdered resin. The chief use of this admirable
composition is to fill up cracks or splits in horses’ hoofs. It may
also be used for plaster on occasion. To apply it to hoofs, warm it and
spread it in with a warmed knife. It sets so hard that it will hold

In mending or making, it may be observed that a very little indiarubber
or gutta-percha may be combined with benzole or ether, or rectified
petroleum in large amount, which soon becomes dense. Therefore, to
produce a surface or a skin, we first spread a _thin_ coat over the
object or mould, and then apply another with a broad, soft brush or
“dabber” with great care, so as to make it of uniform thickness. It is,
therefore, best to have the preparation always rather thin, and use it
at the right time, and not when it has become dense by long keeping. In
the latter case add more of the solvent.

Glass bottles or vials containing liquids are often broken, even by
the pressure of soft objects, such as clothing, when placed in trunks.
It is therefore advisable to dip or coat them with this solution,
which forms a bag which will contain the fluid; that is, unless it be
of a nature which will soften it. I have known a bottle of hair-oil
to be packed in a valuable cashmere shawl, which was almost ruined by
its breaking, and which could have easily been prevented by this easy

Any apothecary will make up these recipes.

A very curious and valuable imitation of indiarubber waterproof cloth
is made as follows:--Caseine is macerated with water and with borax to
a solution. The cloth is dipped in this, and when quite dry, again
dipped into a strong infusion of gall-apples. This is a kind of tanning.

For exhaustive information on the subject of indiarubber the
technologist may consult _Kautschuk und Guttapercha_, by Raimund
Hoffer, Leipzig, 1892, which is, I believe, the latest and best work on
this important subject.



Metal-work, especially in iron, requires so much forging and so many
appliances that it is to a certain extent beyond the ordinary mender,
who must in most cases have resort to the smith or artificer. But there
is still much within the capacity of the amateur to effect, and this I
will describe.

One of the commonest requirements in repairing trunks and many other
objects is to make a strap or strip of metal hold either to a surface
or to itself. This is to be promptly effected by _riveting_. If the
iron band on a trunk is broken, you cannot well nail it again into its
place. A nail will not hold in the thin side, possibly of pasteboard.
To learn how to repair in such a case, take a piece of common hoop
iron, lay it on a block of wood or a board, and with a fine nail or
brad-awl and hammer knock a hole in it. Then take a rivet or any
flat-headed tack, put it through the hole, lay it with the head of the
tack down on iron or stone if possible, and then give the point a blow,
a little sideways. The result is that the point will be flattened and
the tack firmly held. The result will be the same if the rivet passes
through two thick pieces of metal. In this manner the two ends of an
iron hoop for a box are fastened. Therefore, if we take a piece of tin
or sheet-iron, put it in the trunk against the side, and bring down the
broken strip on the outside, we can, with a little care, rivet it. It
is advisable, when this is done, to paste a strong piece of muslin or
leather over the tin to prevent it from cutting anything in the trunk.
These riveted strips are _far_ better for surrounding and holding many
bundles than cords. They are better for books, because they do not
leave marks on the edges, neither do they untie nor are they hard to
fasten, requiring no knotting.

Riveted bands, corners, or bent pieces of sheet-metal are more
generally applicable to broken furniture than is generally supposed.
The plate thus applied can generally be concealed either by chiselling
a place for it or by hammering it into the wood, and then cementing and
painting it over.

Wire is also very useful for mending of many kinds, either in metal
or wood. To manage it we need a pair of cutting pliers or pincers, as
well as the long-nosed and flat pliers. Thus, to attach two bodies--for
instance, the two parts of a broken gunstock--begin by fastening one
end of the wire in one piece, and wind it round both, drawing it as
tightly as possible with the flat pliers. When united, fasten the other
end by driving it under the _twist_ or into the wood. This also can be
so adroitly treated that the wire, flattened with a file and hammered
down, can be concealed under paint and varnish. By means of wire passed
through holes made with long brad-awls or fine gimlets, picture-frames
can be firmly repaired. In many cases the wire should be brought round
and the ends fastened or wound together; in others, make a double ring
in one end of the wire and nail it down, then pass the wire through the
hole and fasten the other end in the same way. Many kinds of broken
implements may be thus mended. Endeavour to get strong, _flexible_ wire
for such purposes.

Boxes containing goods will be doubly strong when protected by strips
of iron nailed round them. Hoop-iron is generally used for this purpose.

Soldering is, however, the best and most usual means of repairing all
kinds of metal-work, and this is very far from being so difficult as
is generally supposed; indeed, a lady-writer on metal-work goes so
far as to declare that it is fascinating. As every tinker and tinman
knows how to “sodder,” and will willingly give instruction for a trifle
(children, indeed, often behold the whole process admiringly for
nothing), and, finally, as it is most unlikely that any reader of this
work should be in a place where neither tinkers nor tinmen are to be
found--for I have read that a gipsy tinker was once discovered mending
a kettle seated in the shadow of the Great Wall of China--it is hardly
necessary to describe in detail processes which any one can take in
at a glance. The principle is this:--As in cementing glass, the glue
which binds requires powdered glass to be mixed in it, so that it may
establish a quicker and closer affinity with the glass; so to unite two
metallic surfaces we must have a flux or some fusible substance as an
intermediary. For this purpose various substances, such as resin and
borax, are employed with the solder, which is a compound of metals,
which melts very easily, takes a firm hold of other metals, and sets
hard at once. There are many varieties of it, adapted to different
metals. It is generally sold in small sticks for use.

I lay some stress on the fact that there should be some one in every
family knowing how to repair, especially in metal, because there is no
household in which there is not damage of tin and iron ware, trunks,
kitchen utensils, and often even of jewellery, which a clever youth or
young lady could easily restore. A pin is detached from a brooch. You
could repair it yourself in five minutes, at a halfpenny’s expense;
but no, it must be sent to a jeweller’s to be mended for a shilling.
It is the same with earrings and chains and bracelets and clasps and
securing-rings. When they become shaky you fasten them with thread. It
will hold for the present, of course; and then comes an advertisement
in the _Times_: “Lost--Twenty-five Pounds Reward!” All because you
never learned how to repair or solder.


But, as ’tis never too late to mend, and no one should be a mend
I-can’t, or go begging to others to do for him what he can do for
himself, I trust that reflection on this subject will induce many to
become practical repairers. If you have a valuable coin, do not take
half the value out of it, as most people do, by boring a hole through
it. Make a simple twist and eyelet of a bit of silver wire and solder
it on the edge. Do not tie a gold chain with twine; mend it properly.
Rivet your broken scissors, and when hinges come out screw them on
again. If there were really anything _difficult_ in all this I would
honestly say so, but there is not, and people who have received some
education learn how to do it all with ease in a short time.

A recipe for a cement to attach metal to any other substance is made as

  Purified flint-sand (or glass-powder)  10
  Caseine or curd                         8
  Slacked lime                           10

Mix thoroughly, and add water to a creamy consistency.

The following for metals is also very strong:--

  Sturgeon’s bladder solution           100
  Nitric acid                             1

The acid is stirred in at the same time with the cement, which should
be as dense as possible, and with this mixture the surfaces of the
metal are covered. “The nitric acid is intended to make the surfaces of
the metal rough, but it has the drawback that it hinders the drying of
the glue” (LEHNER). This slowly drying is, however, a great advantage.
The same is found when it is mixed with common glue, which generally
dries too rapidly. Cements which dry rather slowly take hold the most
firmly and permanently. The acid hardens the mass by contracting the
cellular tissue. To hasten the drying, the metallic parts, which should
be very strongly compressed together, must be exposed to heat.

A simpler method for light articles of metal is to wet the surfaces
with nitric acid for a few minutes till they are roughened, then wash
away the acid in water, and cement the metal with sturgeon’s bladder

A special cement for zinc is made by thickening very strong dense glue
with powdered slacked lime, into which is kneaded one-tenth part of
flowers of sulphur.

A so-called Jeweller’s Cement, which holds firmly, is the so-called
Diamond, elsewhere given; also the following:--

  Sturgeon’s bladder                  100
  Gum mastic varnish                   50

The sturgeon’s bladder is dissolved in as little water as possible
with strong spirits of wine (equivalent to ordinary spirits). To
prepare the mastic varnish, mix finely powdered mastic with the most
highly rectified spirits of wine and benzine, and use as little liquid
as possible. The two mixtures must be then rubbed as intimately as
possible together. When carefully made this cement will serve for
anything--glass or china, &c.

A CEMENT FOR ZINC, especially for ornaments and small work:--In
ten parts by weight of silicate of soda (solution) stir two parts
of cleansed chalk and three of zinc in powder. This is kneaded for
some time into a putty, with which defects, roughnesses, &c., can be
remedied. After twenty-four hours, when polished with agate, this
cement has all the appearance of zinc.

It may be observed that other metals in fine powder may be substituted
for the zinc, and that with bronze powders, oxides of metals, and
indeed with all the range of painters’ colours, combinations may be
formed of infinite application in the arts. According to LEHNER the
silicate of soda should be of 33°.

A specially strong and valuable cement, capable of many uses in
metal, wood, glass, or china, or to fasten glass to metal, is made as
follows:--Take best purified litharge, stir it with glycerine until it
becomes a thin homogeneous mass, which in less than an hour will become
a very hard mass, which is of almost universal application. It is not
affected by water, and resists the action (according to LEHNER) of
almost all acids, the strongest alkalies, as well as etherised oils and
the fumes of chlorine and alcohol. The surfaces which are to be united
with it must first be covered with pure, thick glycerine.

It will readily occur to the reader that in or to this, as in every
recipe given in this book, modifications, alterations, and additions
can be made, of very great value, adaptable to a great variety of
substances. It is to be observed that in such cases as this, where
one cannot be sure of the exact result, it is best, _e.g._, to first
experiment with a very little finest pulverised oxide of lead with the

Another form of this powerful metallic cement is given as follows:--

  Concentrated glycerine          ½ litre
  Litharge                        5 kilogs.

To make a cement to fill or close joints in zinc-work:--Soak three
parts by weight of glue in water, pour off the superfluous water,
dissolve the glue in warm water, stir into it six parts of slacked
lime and one of flowers of sulphur.

When ironwork, as, for instance, window-bars, is to be set in stone,
the following is commended as taking a firm hold:--

  Calcined gypsum                      30
  Finely powdered iron                 10
  Vinegar                              20

The following recipes, though I have found many of them in other works,
are here taken, with acknowledgment, from LEHNER, as his proportions
are invariably accurate, or confirmed by experiment.

AN IRON CEMENT which resists heat and moisture:--

  Clay                                 10
  Iron filings                          5
  Vinegar                               2
  Water                                 3


  Iron filings                        100
  Sal-ammoniac                          2
  Water                                10

This in a few days will begin to turn into a hard rust.

Another OXIDISED CEMENT, which holds like iron, is made as follows:--

  Iron filings                         65
  Sal-ammoniac                          2.5
  Flowers of Sulphur                    1.5
  Sulphuric acid                        1

The sulphuric acid is diluted with water and added to the mixed powders.

A RUST OR OXIDE CEMENT, resisting fire:--

  Common iron filings                  45
  Clay                                 20
  Finest porcelain clay                15
  Salt in water                         8

Fine clay may be used in lack of the finest porcelain clay.

AN IRON CEMENT to resist heat:--

  Iron filings                         20
  Clay in powder                       45
  Borax                                 5
  Salt                                  5
  Peroxide of manganese                10

The borax and salt are melted in water and then quickly mixed with the
remaining ingredients, which are in a combined powder. At a white-heat
this becomes a glassy substance, which seals hermetically.

IRON CEMENT to resist intense heat:--

  Peroxide of manganese                52
  White oxide of zinc                  25
  Borax                                 5

This is applied with silicate of soda. It must dry gradually.

IRON CEMENT to resist heat:--

  Iron filings                        100
  Clay                                 50
  Salt                                 10
  Flint-sand                           20


  Iron filings                        140
  Hydraulic cement                     20
  Flint-sand                           25
  Sal-ammoniac                          3

This powder is made into a paste with vinegar. It must dry for a long
time before being submitted to heat.

Another cement of the same kind is as follows:--

  Iron filings                        180
  Clay                                 45
  Salt                                  8

This is also made up with vinegar, and must be dried for a long time.


  Iron filings, fine                   10
  Calcined gypsum                      30
  Sal-ammoniac                          0.5

Also combined with vinegar.

When there are defects in iron castings, they may be filled up with the
following cement:--

  Clean iron filings                  100
  Flowers of sulphur                    0.5
  Sal-ammoniac                          0.8

To be mixed with water to a paste. It does not fuse nor act as a paste
until exposed to great heat. Before applying it wash the edges to
be united with liquid ammonia. Brimstone or sulphur melts iron very
promptly when the latter is red-hot, and applied to it, the iron will
drop like melted sealing-wax.

A CEMENT FOR IRON STOVES is made as follows:--

  Iron filings         100
  Chalk-marl            40
  Flint-sand            50
  Vinegar               20

This is made into a paste, which can be rendered porous by mixing with
it bristles, chopped straw, sawdust, or chaff. When the latter is
converted to coal by heat, the cement is, of course, full of cavities.
In like manner, clay for water-coolers is made light and spongy by
mixing it with salt. The salt gradually melts in the damp clay, forming
a porous substance.

When iron doors are to be hermetically sealed at very high temperatures
the following may be used:--

  Finest iron filings  100
  Sal-ammoniac           1
  Limestone             10
  Silicate of soda      10

When the iron plates about a fireplace give way the following may be

  Iron filings         20
  Iron dross or refuse 12
  Calcined gypsum      30
  Common salt          10

This mixture may be combined with either blood or silicate of soda,
preferably the latter, as the former has a disagreeable smell.

Iron filings mixed with vinegar are allowed to stand till of a brown
colour, and then driven with plugs and hammer into cavities, where they
form a rust cement.


  Iron filings 10
  Clay         60

This is mixed with linseed-oil to a paste. It requires several weeks to
harden, but forms a hard cement.


  Iron filings  10
  Sand          12
  Ivory black   10
  Slacked lime  12
  Lime water     5

SCHWARTZ’S IRON CEMENT for holes in pots, &c.:--


  Finely powdered glue   4-5
  Finest iron dust         2
  Peroxide of manganese    1
  Common salt               ½
  Borax                     ½

To be powdered extremely fine or levigated and made with water to a
paste. Resists fire and hot water.


  Pulverised peroxide of manganese  1
  White oxide of zinc               1

To be finely pulverised and combined with silicate of soda.

An important part of all metal-mending is soldering. This is based on
the principle that certain metallic compounds which fuse at a very
low heat can, however, be so brought into union with others which have
an affinity for them as by melting to unite the harder objects. Thus
bismuth, which will melt in hot water, has an affinity for lead, which
combines easily with tin and brass, &c.; as, in like manner, borax and
resin with iron.


  Bismuth   8
  Tin       3
  Lead      5

This melts at 94.5° Celsius.



  Bismuth  2
  Lead     1
  Tin      1


  Bismuth  5
  Lead     3
  Tin      2


  Lead    30
  Tin     20
  Bismuth 25

The lead is first carefully melted, then the tin added, and the melted
mixture carefully stirred; the bismuth is put in last of all.


  Wood-ashes          10
  Clay                10
  Calcined lime        4

To be mixed with water to form a firm paste. Also applicable to holes
in trees. Clay mixed with waste-paper is also applicable for the latter
purpose (LEHNER). (Glue may be added to it.) This mixture of clay and
paper should be well mixed with sour milk.

CLAUS’S CEMENT FOR METAL AND GLASS:--40 grammes of starch and 320
grammes purified chalk are dissolved in 2 quarts water, into which is
stirred ½ pint solution of caustic soda.

The most important part of mending broken metal-work is _soldering_,
and this is so difficult to practically teach by mere _writing_, while
it can be so easily learned from any tinsmith, or even tinker, that
I deem it common-sensibly best to acquire it from the latter. Those
who would study it in all its details, scientific or technological,
may do so in _Das Löthen und die Bearbeitung der Metalle_, by Edmund
Schlosser; Vienna, A. Hartleben, price 3s.



Leather-work when much worn is seldom restored, and, except by a
few experts, it is generally regarded as incurable. That is to say,
that leather-work is only repaired by the same method in which it is
made--that is, by sewing--when in fact a great deal is lost which
might be saved, and much imperfectly repaired which might seem like
new by resorting to a more scientific process. And therefore, having
devoted much attention to it, I am persuaded that the worst cases may
be mended. Within a week I purchased two small folio volumes which
had been beautifully bound in black leather, embossed in deep relief,
about 1520, in a style which was then becoming antiquated. The pattern
had been cut in a wooden mould, stamped on the wet leather, and then
completely worked over by hand with tracers and matted or stamped in
the ground. But the black colour had been worn away from the relief and
turned brown, and it was otherwise dilapidated at the edges.

I took a volume and where the surface was ragged moistened it, applied
gum-arabic in solution, and smoothed it down with an agate burnisher.
Leather treated in this way soon becomes like a paste. When it was
all even I painted it over with strong liquid Indian ink. Common ink
would have done as well. Then I varnished it over lightly with the
admirable _vernis à retoucher_, No. 3, of SOEHNÉE, which is flexible,
preservative, and does not crack. I may add for ladies that it smells
like _eau de cologne_. This dries almost immediately. It may be had
at all artists’ material shops. Finally, I rubbed it for some time by
hand. Then the binding was as good as new, yet not too new. It was
simply perfectly restored.

I have in the introduction mentioned another work which I also
restored. This was a Madonna in high relief, very much dilapidated;
that is to say, it was of thin leather, which had been originally
made in a mould, and was accordingly puffed out, so to speak, like a
pie-crust. On the mould there had been laid a coat of muslin or cotton
fabric; this, when dry, had been very thinly covered with _gesso_ or
plaster of Paris, and on this, when dry, a thin wet leather had been
pressed. I may here note that very often the _gesso_ was then blackened
without any leather being applied, and that when thus blackened,
covered, and varnished it looked exactly like leather--an easy art,
which may be practised to profit by any one who can carve or buy moulds.

On examining this, I found that it would be very difficult to repair
it with good leather. I found in a shop some thin black sham-leather,
such as the Japanese apparently manufacture from leather dust, made by
grinding up all kinds of leather waste to a powder. It was wretched,
rotten stuff as leather, but all the better suited to my purpose. Some
of this I cut into small bits, and with a knife soon mashed it, mixed
with gum-arabic and water, into a very smooth paste. With such a paste
one can repair any tear, roughening, or imperfection, care being taken
that the paste and leather be alike in colour. With this I filled the
hollows at the back, making the work solid; and having wetted all the
ragged edges and fractured or torn places, smoothed them down with gum
and a pen or paper knife, supplying deficiencies with the black paste.
When all was smooth and dry I applied a coat of SOEHNÉE’S varnish, and
then rubbed it well down by hand. It was quite restored.

As this varnishing leather may sound like a heresy to artistic
leather-workers, I would ask them if they would consider an application
of tannin in solution--which is the preservative principle of leather
itself--as “inartistic.” Certainly it is not, nor is the application of
SOEHNÉE (which is more of a simple preservative than a glaze) a mere
finish for show.

The leather-paste of which I speak has certain qualities of its
own which make it quite different from any other substance. We may
include in leather “paste” not only the mere dust made from the dried
substance, but all scraps, and also any thin leather, thoroughly
softened or macerated. Even in the latter form it is, combined with a
binder, really a plastic substance, since it can be worked into any
form with ease. Mixed with caoutchouc or indiarubber in solution, and
then dried, it is invaluable for mending boots and making waterproof
soles. As I have indicated, it is excellent for mending old books. And
here I may mention that if you have, let us say, one cover of a book
in high relief, and the other, it may be, lost or worn plain, you can
supply or make the duplicate very easily, very cheaply, and in a short
time as follows:--Take a sheet of soft, white newspaper, dampen it, and
press it on the relief. As soon as possible, taking care not to wet
the book, fill in the back of the _squeeze_ either with other coats of
wet paper, melted wax, or liquid plaster of Paris. When this is dry,
wax or oil carefully the face of the squeeze, wipe it dry, and make a
cast from it in _leather-paste_. Thus you will have a facsimile of the
relief. From a solid plaster mould, well oiled or boiled in wax, a cast
may be taken in softened or wet leather, which is even better; it sets
hard and tough.

I may here mention that it is very unusual to see books bound in deep
relief with _hand-worked_, black, or black and gold, antique patterns,
and that such a cover, say of eight by ten inches, would probably cost
at least a pound, and be cheap at that. And yet any girl of ordinary
capacity with, let us say, fifty shillings’ worth of moulds, and two
weeks’ practice in tracing and stamping grounds, could produce from two
to four such book-covers as those before me in a day.

There is now generally sold in furnishing or chemists’ shops a good
waterproof glue. Leather softened and then well incorporated with this
is also waterproof, and may be used to mend trunks. I have known a
torn boot to be mended in this manner, and that so well that it lasted
for a long time. Even a leather strap which is subjected to great
tugging may be restored, if cut or broken in two, by shaving the edges
obliquely, so as to sharpen them.


Then apply glue with acid, and before it is quite dry apply pressure,
though not so great as to squeeze the glue out. Shaving across the
edges, judicious pressing together, and final smoothing are of the
greatest importance in all leather patching and piecing, because
it depends on these to make the juncture imperceptible. Very few
persons--even shoemakers--are at all aware of the degree of perfection
to which mending rents in foot-covering can be carried by the use of
waterproof glue, such as is sold by many chemists. I have worn such a
patch for months, and it was hardly perceptible. But, like every art,
it requires some practice to apply such patches properly, and I cannot
promise to any lady that she can perfectly and neatly patch a boot by
simply daubing on a piece of leather at a first trial.

It may be noted that in such strap-joining as that which I have
described, the repair will be greatly strengthened by pasting very
thin bits of leather, or even of muslin, over the edges and pressing
them in. It is true that this cover will soon wear away, but meanwhile
the mended leather is all the while growing stronger and uniting more
perfectly. Even paper, glued and pressed on, materially aids to make
the exposed joint unite.

And here I may say that many a lady and youth would do well to take a
few practical lessons from any shoemaker in the noble art of cobbling;
that is to say, of heeling, soleing, and patching, all of which are as
easy to learn as steps in dancing, and are even more interesting or
amusing when once mastered. It is, moreover, an art which will be of
use through life. Those who can do this will probably, if ambitious
by nature, progress to making slippers, it may be shoes; and he who
can do this may be assured that he never need quite starve to death
while human beings go shod. It is not so difficult as many think, for
I have known shoemakers of very ordinary minds, and I also once knew
a mechanical artist who learned to make a fine pair of shoes in a few
weeks. In fact, there is a living in a great many things for those who
have once learned to use their fingers.

Few people are aware of the extraordinary durability of leather-work of
certain kinds. There are in the British Museum Roman sandals, probably
made of raw hide, but cut into pretty form, which were found in the
Thames, and which look as new as if recently made. I have seen within
a day as I write a gracefully formed pitcher of the early fifteenth
century of very solid black leather, like the old blackjacks once
common in England, which has probably passed through centuries of
use, and is as perfect as ever. Wood splits, earthenware breaks, and
metal rusts, but raw hide, or _cuir bouilli_, as set forth in the old
song of the “Leather Bottél,” seems to endure every trial. As the man
commemorated in “Æsop’s Fables” declared, “After all, there is nothing
like leather.” The reader who may be especially interested in this
easiest of all the minor arts may consult on this subject my _Manual of
Leather-Work_ (5s.); Whittaker & Co., 2 White Hart Street, Paternoster
Square, London, E.C.

Strips of raw hide are without equal for repairing broken vehicles,
wheels, saddles, and similar articles, because they shrink while
drying, drawing everything tight, and set so hard when once dry
that what is mended is often stronger than before. I have elsewhere
mentioned that the strongest trunks in the world are made in America
from it, as they had need to be, since there is no country in the world
where the “baggage-smasher,” figurative or literal, is so much to be

The reader who has occasion to repair anything in leather should study
the chapter of this book which treats of indiarubber and gutta-percha,
the subjects being in many respects the same.

A strong cement for leather is made by combining gutta-percha and
_Schwefelkohlenstoff_, or bisulphide of carbon, with petroleum to a
syrupy consistency. A very good cement specially adapted to joining
leather straps is as follows:--

  Asphalt                     12
  Resin                       10
  Gutta-percha                40
  Bisulphide of carbon       150
  Petroleum                   60

The materials, excepting the _Schwefelkohlenstoff_, are put together in
a bottle which stands in hot water for several hours; when the mass has
grown thick with the petroleum add the rest, and let the whole stand
for several days, shaking it very often. If the pieces of leather to be
united are first heated and then pressed very tightly together, the
adhesion will be increased. This cement is as well adapted for glass,
crockery, horn, ivory, wood, or metal as for leather. It is admirable
for mending trunks, whether made of leather, wood, or pasteboard.

When a trunk is made of any of these, and a hole is broken through
the side or top, take a newspaper and coat it with this cement,
applying another, till there are a dozen or more thicknesses. If, as
it gradually dries, this be pressed and hardened with a roller, or
even a round ruler, it will be much improved. Glue this into or upon
the fracture. In most cases with care it can be made as strong as
ever. Where a rib is broken it should be promptly replaced. (_Vide_
Metal-Work.) All trunks should be covered with waterproof glue or
varnish, as it effectually protects them from exposure to the rain.
This is very rarely done, however, the result being an immense amount
of loss to all travellers. In any town where there is a chemist’s shop,
and where a bit of indiarubber is to be had, even at the stationer’s, a
waterproof cement can be at once manufactured. The easiest of these to
prepare is the following:--

  Gutta-percha      100
  Pine resin        200

The resin is first melted in a pan, the gutta-percha, in very small
bits, being gradually stirred in till all is amalgamated. When used it
must be warmed again. This cement can be used for as many different
articles as the preceding.

It may here be noted that vast quantities of waste leather from
shoemakers and bookbinders, which sell for a mere trifle, can be
utilised to make admirable waterproof carpets and wall-covers. The
leather is first soaked till soft, then smoothed out and mixed with
waterproof cement, and rolled into one flat piece. This makes a very
cheap sub-carpet for winter--better than oil-cloth, being softer. For
walls it can be pressed in moulds, gilded, or painted. If varnished
there is no unpleasant smell from it. The harder it is compressed
or rolled the more will all smell disappear. Even with rolling by
hand with a bread-roller almost all substances--for instance, paper,
cloth-rags, sawdust, leather, clay, wool, cotton-wool, when combined
with any fit adhesive or cement--can be made very hard or tough; and it
is remarkable, considering the cheapness of the materials, how little
this principle is as yet applied.

It may be remarked that there are many people who do not know what
to do when the sole of a boot splits off or wears away and there is
no shoemaker at hand. If the heel is lost and no leather can be had,
a very good substitute can be cut from wood and cemented on. A few
tacks will make it last as long almost as leather. If a piece of sole
leather can be got, even from another old shoe, one or two layers
can be cemented on to make a sole. A short screw or nail through
three-quarters of the heel greatly aids in making the layers adhere.
This may also be done with a vice.

In the town of Bagni di Lucca, where I now am, a pair of leather shoes
with wooden soles, such as are commonly worn by women and children,
cost only fivepence. They are, of course, rough, but still far better
than none. The sole is rudely and very easily cut, with a high heel,
from white pine or larch wood. The upper is a single piece of leather,
which only covers the front half of the foot. It is moistened and bent
into shape, and then tacked or glued on. Many people simply buy the
soles, then the leather, and make the shoes for themselves, in which
case the expense does not amount to more than twopence. In Florence
there is often added to this the back, or heel-piece, which costs
twopence more, and makes an almost perfect shoe. This art would be
worth knowing in a wild country.

[Illustration: _Italian (Lucchese) Peasant Shoe, costing from 5d. to
8d. per pair, undecorated._]

LEHNER (_vide_ Indiarubber and Gutta-percha) specially commends for
mending soles the composition of--Gutta-percha, 10; benzine, 100;
linseed-oil varnish, 100. It is extremely elastic and tough, and
therefore suitable to soles. Mixed with black dye, or made with japan,
it forms patent leather or polished leather. It should for this purpose
be applied with a broad brush in _thin_ successive coats, and well
dried before applying a new one. This is far superior to ordinary
blacking; it is more easily applied, and does not injure the leather so
much, because the latter is often made with vitriol, which, while it
promptly gives a shine, eats away the fibre. Boots and shoes will, in
fact, wear much longer with this coating than without it.

This is even more applicable to a great deal of harness, saddle, and
bridle mending, and restoring sheet leather in every form; as, for
instance, waggon curtains, when worn and dry. First soften the leather,
then restore its quality, if required, with tannin or indiarubber in
solution. If very dry and exhausted, it may first be treated with
neat’s-foot oil for several days. Then sew it up, if a seam, or mend by
applying leather and the cement. If all persons who own much harness
would carefully study this subject, they would be astonished to find
what economy could be effected by judicious mending.

It may happen that the reader may have occasion to wish to renew black,
glazed leather-work, or to make a brilliant black pattern on a brown
ground in stamped leather. I have often executed it with success. In
such a case it suffices to simply blacken the leather with ink or dye,
and then coat it with any flexible varnish; that is, one into which
glycerine or gutta-percha has been infused. Any one who can draw can
in this manner execute very beautiful work for covering walls, panels,
chests, or doors. Or flexible black varnish can be directly applied.

LEHNER gives a recipe for attaching leather to metal, which may also be
applied to any other substance:--Cover the leather with a thin and very
hot coating of glue, press it on the metal, and then wet the other
side with a strong solution of gall-apples or tannin (_Lohe_, extract
of oak-bark) till it is thoroughly-penetrated. The tannin combines with
the glue, and attaches the leather with extreme tenacity to the metal,
&c. It is advisable to roughen the metallic surface to facilitate

By combining glue (and many other adhesives) directly with the tannin
or gall nut astringent we obtain _a waterproof cement_ of great
strength, which is very useful for shoes. It is, in fact, not at
all a difficult matter, where other appliances are wanting, to make
from leather, without sewing, a soled shoe when tannin and glue are
obtainable. The same can be done with canvas.

During the great wars in America thousands of soldiers often went
barefoot in winter-time, with abundance of horses or cattle killed
all round them, because they did not know that a strong moccasin can
be made by cutting out a piece of raw hide, piercing holes in it, and
drawing it up like a bag round the ankles, as is so commonly done
here in the mountain districts in Italy. I once astonished a soldier
in the war by suggesting this, and he declared he must try it. It
is remarkable how rarely man in an uneducated state ever _invents_
anything, be it a myth, a tale, or a practical invention.

If the upper leather of a slipper or shoe be cut out, it can, if wet,
be easily made to assume the form of a foot by drying it on a last, or
even on another shoe. Let the seam of the back jut or flap over the
edge, and allow full selvage for the rest to turn under the sole. The
latter may be of sole leather. If there is none, glue two or three
pieces of the leather together with the tannin cement, and roll them
over strongly. Then glue the back and the under-lap with great care.
With a little practice a fairly good shoe can be thus made. Canvas
can be used in the same way. To dwellers in the wilderness this may
be valuable information. But very pretty ornamental slippers can be
made by young ladies out of scraps of gaily coloured leather. They can
buy a pair of soles, and get the leather at a leather-dealer’s. This
is all simply substituting glueing for sewing, and strong tannin-glue
holds _quite_ as strongly as a great deal of the sewing of cheap,
machine-made shoes. It would, indeed, not be a very difficult or
expensive thing to shoe or clothe all mankind comfortably, were it not
for the fashions followed by the wealthy.

These very cheap shoes, made with either wooden or leather soles,
and that so easily that a child can learn to manufacture them in an
hour, can be easily ornamented so as to be really attractive. Take the
leather, moisten it with a sponge, and then with a tracer, which is
like the end of a screw-driver--_i.e._--


draw a pattern in the damp, soft leather. When it dries the pattern
will remain. Then with a point or stamp, dot or roughen the ground.
Finally, when dry, paint the pattern black, and then varnish it.
Anybody with the least knowledge of drawing can make and sell such
ornamented shoes for a good profit, as they are as yet hardly known
to anybody. Other colours may be substituted for black, or gilding

I have in another place shown (_vide_ Papier-Mâché) how good artificial
leather can be made by combining paper--best in pulp--with indiarubber
and benzole fluid solution. Also how soles can be made by steeping
pasteboard in the same, and how these, which are very easily and
cheaply made, can be glued on to the leather so as to protect the
latter from wearing out, for ever, if renewed. A bottle of this cement,
combined with Diamond or Turkish Cement, will in like manner repair
boots when the sole begins to split or part; and if applied when it
begins to gape, it will be closed for a long time. This is such a
practical, cheap, and easy method of making boots and shoes last,
that my wonder is that every man who goes shod, and especially every
traveller, has not a bottle of it by him. Observe that the two edges
should be well pinched or screwed together (a six-penny vice will
answer for this), and the leather first heated, though all this is not
a _sine quâ non_, but only an improvement.

Leather thus attached by a very strong cement is quite as durable
and much pleasanter to wear than “copper toes” or iron heels, which
assimilate their wearers to horses. And it takes no longer to make and
attach a heel or a sole in this manner than to black a pair of boots,
as I have myself verified within a few hours.

Where seams _rip out_, the best repairing is by sewing as shoemakers
do, which is not hard to learn, and I advise all young people to learn
it. But where sewing cannot be resorted to, the cement, well applied
and compressed till dry, will hold almost any break for a long time.

I urge ladies of all classes and conditions to carefully consider this
chapter. They are more accustomed to repairing than men, and will take
to it more intelligently. As their _chaussures_ are made of thinner
leather than ours, they need repair oftener, but are, on the other
hand, so much the easier to repair. Every mother of a family will at
least profit by studying this book.

Shoemakers’ paste, much used for shoes, belongs properly to
leather-work. It is made by boiling crushed barley to a thick mess, the
water being kept extremely hot. It is then set aside till fermentation
begins, which announces itself by an extremely offensive smell. Thence
it passes to a stage in which it is a brownish syrupy mass, possessing
great power as an adhesive. It is now taken from the fire and a little
carbolic acid added to arrest fermentation. This can be used by itself
for an adhesive; it also combines well with _indifferent_ substances,
such as powdered lime, or chalk, white zinc, ochre, clay, or umber. It
may be as well used for binding books.

I have already given a very good recipe for reuniting broken leather
straps. I here add another from LEHNER. It is very good, but hardly
worth the very considerable extra trouble and expense as compared to
the former:--

  Gilders’ glue          250
  Sturgeon’s bladder      60
  Gum-arabic              60

Reduce to bits and boil in water to a solution, to which add:--

  Venice turpentine    5
  Oil of turpentine    6
  Spirits of wine     10

The strap-ends, or pieces of leather, having been thoroughly cleaned,
are now covered with the adhesive and pressed together between hot
plates, where the work must remain till cold.

A very good artificial leather, perfectly waterproof, may be made by
covering a strip of strong paper, or, better still, one of glazed
muslin, with the gutta-percha cement. Add to this fresh layers of
cement and paper, till the requisite thickness is obtained. This is
useful for mending soles. Where the gutta-percha or indiarubber cement
is not to be had, substitute copal varnish and glycerine, or thick
turpentine varnish and a little glycerine.


Wool, as is well known, if put into a pair of shoes, will pack or
settle into a solid felt sole if the shoes are worn. This felt is like
cloth. The same can be done by rolling it like dough on a board with
a roller. Lay the cloth or hat to be mended so that the felt to be
made can be worked into it. Then take fine wool and clean and roll it
thoroughly, working it into the edges. It may happen many a time to a
man without a needle to succeed in mending garments in this manner.

Waterproof glue or adhesive, such as is fully described in the chapter
on Indiarubber, may be added to facilitate the adhesion of the felt to
the cloth or felt ground. There is a peculiar art or knack of working
moistened felt into the edges of cloth, and of ironing or pressing
them down so as not to show, which can, however, be soon acquired.
In this way cloth may be glued upon cloth with very good effect. The
extraordinary tenacity and fineness of the adhesives now made, be it
specially observed, renders mending of this kind (which was impossible
a generation ago) now perfectly possible. I advise those who doubt
this to get a piece of cloth and experiment for themselves. The patch
may not be invisible, but it will look better than if botched with a
needle. Felt, however, can easily be repaired to perfection.

Large pieces of stuff can be made by rolling slightly gummed wool,
which fact many men do not know, even when living in the wilderness,
where wool or hair may be abundant. Nothing is so common as to see
shepherds in utter raggedness where the very shreds of wool left by
their sheep on the thorns would clothe them, with a little industry.
The quality, durability, and fineness of felt depend on the quality of
the wool, and the care and skill of the operator. Many of the cheap
cloths known as shoddy are really felts.

Felt is easily formed, because under certain conditions it seems
to have a strange tendency to form itself. The reader knows that a
string in the pocket, subjected to our every movement, will inevitably
tangle and knot itself up in the most mysterious manner; and so the
fibres of wool, if rubbed together, twine and bind themselves into
most intimate union. I earnestly advise all who expect to live where
sheep are plenty, and tailors or seamstresses few and far between, to
experiment in felt-making, and, if possible, learn from a hatmaker how
it is done. There was at one time in New York a factory where strong,
serviceable suits of felt cloth were made, and these, consisting of
coat, waistcoat, and trousers, were sold at retail for five dollars, or
one pound--I myself having seen them.

When a piece of cloth is thus adjusted or applied to fill a hole or
mend a rent, the edges may be either simply gummed and adjusted, or
they may be treated with a mixture of felt or cloth-dust and gum. In
this case, before the adhesive is _quite_ hard, yet after it has ceased
to be soft, lay over the patch a piece of cloth of exactly the same
kind, and press it with a warm flat-iron. (_Vide_ Invisible Mending of
Garments, Laces, or Embroideries.)

In most cases a torn woollen garment may be very well restored by
carefully sewing a piece into the hole, or by uniting the edges with
long stitches. Then make a paste of felt or dust, or short, fine
threads of the same cloth, with indiarubber cement, and work it over
the surface. With practice this can be done so neatly as to quite
conceal the mending. Pass an iron over the whole. When indiarubber
cement cannot be obtained, glue mixed with one-fourth glycerine can be

Ammonia combined with wool forms a solvent which is also a cement. I
have not experimented with it.


Most people are aware that there are tailors or others who are such
artists in mending that they can sew up a rent “in almost anything”
so skilfully that the tear cannot be perceived. I have myself seen
this done so admirably in fine black cloth that not only was there no
sign of a tear perceptible, but none was manifest after long wearing
the garment. This nicety is partly due to skill, but there is also a
method in it. Such mending is specially shown in Italy by Jewesses in
repairing valuable old laces, embroideries, and the like. As a very
large proportion of those who buy and sell such goods are Jews, it is
but natural that their wives and female friends should be specially
employed in mending. The process which they employ is as follows:--


“Thread a needle with one of your own hairs, then draw the edge of the
rent or tear together in this manner, darning it, as it were, very
finely and carefully, for it is in this that the whole art consists.

“After this take a piece of cloth as near like to the stuff you wish
to mend as you can obtain. Lay this piece on the rent so as to cover
it, then damp it slightly, and press it down with a hot iron until the
surface looks quite even.”

It may here be observed that, firstly, the _thinner_ the thread used,
so that it be only strong enough to hold, the less probability is there
that the repair will show. For this purpose, for extremely delicate
mending a human hair is almost invisible; for most work silk thread
will answer. It is, however, more likely to cut through the edge than a
hair, because the hair is more elastic.

Secondly, it may be observed that the so-called darning is really a
kind of invisible weaving, and not a sewing together or a stitching
close of edges, which latter, as it always puckers up or rises, must
show the line of repair. The darning has its strength of attachment
afar off, not close to the edges; it makes, as it were, a kind of
network or a weaving together of the cloth--that is, the cloth is
woven again into one piece by an invisible thread which hides itself
in the thicker fabric. The laying down of a cloth of _precisely the
same texture_ as that mended, and then ironing it, is very ingenious,
because one of a different kind would produce a different impression.

The friend from whom I received the above, Miss ROMA LISTER, adds
that the Jewesses do this kind of work very well, but ask a franc or
twenty-five sous for mending the smallest rent. However, when the torn
shawl is once finished you cannot see where the hole has been.

Somewhat allied to this is the patient German method of mending
stockings by reknitting; also that of spreading strong flexible glue
on a patch of chamois. This is laid under the rent, the edges being
carefully reunited over it. I would here suggest that if the tear be
first carefully darned, even with human hair or finest silk, and the
gummed leather then applied to the reverse, the mending would endure
for a much longer time.

There is a stitch known in Germany as _Kettenstich_, or
chain-stitch--though it is _not_ that which is generally known among
us as the “German chain-stitch.” It is peculiarly long and strong,
and will hold together the edges of even soft leather, for which
reason it is generally used in Turkey and Russia to sew together the
many-coloured pieces of leather such as we see in Kasan work--slippers
and boots--and cushions from Constantinople. This is a valuable stitch
for close, invisible mending. It is allied to the lock-stitch of the

A great variety of fabrics can be carefully adjusted and drawn together
over a piece of strong, glazed muslin (of the same colour) covered with
waterproof glue--_e.g._, indiarubber or glue and rubber cement--so that
the mending will not be apparent. This process is very applicable to
loose skirts, or to any garments on which there is no such severe pull,
as, _e.g._, trousers or coat-sleeves. To effect these as well as all
other repairs perfectly it will be necessary to experiment a few times.
Unfortunately nearly all amateurs without exception make no experiment
till it is necessary to repair something, and then, because they very
naturally botch it, find fault with the recipe. Yet, strangely as it
may sound, there are many cases in which mending or making fabrics can
be executed far more neatly with a very strong cement, such as that
of mastic and sturgeon’s bladder, than with needle and thread, the
former actually requiring less margin to hold than the average width
of a seam, for the least possible overlap suffices to bind where the
adhesive is strong. This process of mending is little known, probably
because there has been hitherto very little general knowledge of the
immense strength and tenacity of certain cements, which have, indeed,
only been discovered of late. For all ordinary mending, in fact, glue
with glycerine, or glue and indiarubber solution in benzole, will
answer as well as the far more expensive Turkish or Diamond cement.

If the reader will only reflect that a large proportion of all black
and glossy silks are heavily gummed, sometimes up to their own weight,
it will be understood that there can be no substance with which they
can be more appropriately mended than with cement--a fact well known
to many who employ postage-stamps or black court-plaster to heal their
rents; but as this is generally very expensive, and as any old silk
and glue or gelatine, or dextrine, answer just as well, the latter had
better be considered.

There is much weaving of the most exquisite fabrics done in the East,
and even among savages, almost entirely by hand; that is to say, the
threads are simply attached to a rod, while the woof is worked in with
a needle. Most fabrics can be mended by an analogous process, which is
a remaking the cloth. Much depends on the proper finishing or dressing
the surface by laying on it a piece of cloth and ironing it.


Mother-of-Pearl is the shell of the pearl-oyster (_Avigula
margaritifera_), much admired for its beautiful texture and white
colour, in which there is a peculiar iridescence or rainbow play of
colours. The best, and by far the principal portion in commerce, comes
from the islands of the Pacific. It has risen immensely in value of
late years. Almost, if not quite, equal to it is the East Indian, from
the Sulu Islands, Ceylon, and Aden, or the Persian Gulf. An inferior
kind comes from the Eastern Mediterranean, also another from America.

The iridescent glaze, accompanied with more or less of the mother or
solid substance, is found in a very great number of shells; _e.g._, the
Peter’s Ear (_Halyotis iris_) of the Pacific; also in common mussels,
especially the _Unio_, found in most clear streams or brooks in Europe
and America where there is not much lime. These often yield pearls of
great value.

Mother-of-pearl can be sawed without any great difficulty into plates,
which are polished with fine sand and then with tripoli. Of late a
great deal of small furniture inlaid with squares and triangles of this
material has found its way from Turkey and Persia to London. These
pieces are simply attached with cement made of sturgeon’s bladder,
mastic, salmiac, or even glue. They can generally be obtained from
dealers in Oriental goods. ABRAHAM SASSOON, of Wardour Street, will
supply them in any quantity.

LOUIS EDGAR ANDÉS and SIGMUND LEHNER, both experimental technologists,
have given several curious recipes for imitating mother-of-pearl. From
filing or grinding, the best mother-of-pearl shell becomes like a white
metal, which can be combined with white of egg or pure white gelatine
to a fine marble-like substance, which, however, lacks iridescence.
Broken into very small pieces, which are set in a bed of glue and
glycerine, and then covered, when dry, with another coating of the
same, we have what its inventor, LEHNEr, assures us is a very good
imitation of pearl-shell.

But there is scaled away from a variety of shells a coating of _nacre_,
or coloured glaze, which when powdered still retains the pearly lustre.
This may be taken even from the common American oyster or all mussels.
According to ANDÉS, who refers, I think, to this, it can be laid on any
substance and covered with a gum-glaze. He also informs us that the
pearl-like inner layers of oyster-shells, or of any other kind, reduced
to powder and mixed with sturgeon’s bladder and spirits, painted on
grey paper in several coats, present the appearance of _nacre_. I have
seen specimens of such painting which were indeed very pretty, but
the pearly iridescence was rather faint. According to the author, the
pearly brilliancy is much increased by an addition of silver-bronze

I conclude from this, not having in this instance experimented
personally, save in carving pearl, that coarse powders of the highly
coloured greenish and other _nacres_ of tropical shells, as well as
of the European mussel and some other shells, can be combined with
binding-gums of a transparent nature so as to form a very admirable
imitation of mother-of-pearl.

I may here remark, in connection with this, that the common American
clam (_Venus mercernaria_) has a white shell of intense hardness,
which, when polished, is as beautiful as porcelain or ivory; also that
the purple spot in the American oyster-shell, from which the Indians
made a very hard and beautiful bead, might easily be drilled out for

A very beautiful imitation of mother-of-pearl is made in Japan. It is
not, however, iridescent. It is said to be made with rice. I conjecture
that this is rice treated with diluted acid.

I have before me now a string of 400 imitation red _coral_ beads, price
twopence, such as are commonly sold everywhere. They are manufactured
of vermilion powder, rice-flour, and gum, and, when they are carefully
made, are extremely hard and durable, so much so that the composition
may be used to mend broken articles made of red coral. Such objects
in a fractured state are very common in curiosity shops, but the art
of repairing them seems to be as yet unknown, though it is extremely

Of coral, LEHNER tells us that celluloid in combination with different
substances--_e.g._, white zinc or cinnabar--can be coloured from
delicate rose to fiery vermilion, and forms a very close imitation
of coral. A very good and much cheaper imitation can be made by
preparing perfectly white paper-paste (_vide_ Papier-Mâché), and
combining it with vermilion, zinc, &c. From such artificial coral very
beautiful cups, plates, and ornaments for inlaying, beads, pendants
for jewellery, book-covers, &c., can easily be made. The colour can be
varied to turquoise, emerald, ebony, ivory, &c., by simply changing the
colouring-powders used.

There is a very cheap and common imitation of coral made by dipping
vermicelli, twigs, &c., into a solution of red sealing-wax in spirits
of wine. This is, however, extremely brittle. White marble-dust, or
very fine white flint sand, combined with vermilion and silicate of
soda, is said to produce a very admirable imitation of coral. The
basis of levigated sand, or carbonate of lime, with silicate, can be
varied with the dyes to imitate any gems, and is invaluable for mending
pottery or stone-work.

Coral and several other substances are also imitated by combining about
nine parts of very clear glue to one of glycerine. This is qualified
with one equivalent of white zinc or dye-stuffs. Thus the glue basis is
combined with colcothar, ochre-sepia, umber, ochre, or chrome. This is
also a valuable cement for mending a great variety of objects.

Any fine white shells ground to powder may be combined with gum and
a very little glycerine and vermilion to make artificial coral; also
white glue or gelatine with glycerine. This may be made in quantity for
casts of all kinds of objects, such as plates in inlaid work.


    “_The restoration of disfigured and decayed works of art is next in
    importance to their production._”--Field, Chromatography.

I published in 1864 a work entitled _The Egyptian Sketch Book_, which
began with the following abridged account of how oil pictures are

“Three young painters had often heard what the American PAGE has
proved, that by carefully peeling the pictures of certain great
artists, coat by coat, one may learn all their secrets of colour. So,
having obtained an undoubted Titian, representing the Holy Virgin,
they laid it on a table and proceeded to remove the outer varnish by
means of friction with the fingers; which varnish very soon rose up in
a cloud of white dust, and acted very much as a shower of snuff would
have done.

“Then they arrived at the ‘naked colours,’ which had by this time
assumed a very crude form, owing to the fact that a certain amount of
liquorish tincture, as of Turkey rhubarb, or _tinct. rhabarbara_, had
become incorporated with the varnish, and to which the colours had been
indebted for their golden warmth.

“This brought them to the _glazing proper_, which had been deprived of
the evidence of the age or antiquity by the removal of the _patinæ_,
or little cups, which had formed in the canvas between the web and the

“The next process was to remove the _glaze_ from the saffron robe,
composed of yellow lake and burnt sienna. This brought them to a flame
colour, in which the _modelling_ had been made. They next attacked the
robe of the Virgin Mary, and having taken away the crimson lake, were
astonished to find a greenish drab. When they had thus in turn removed
every colour in the picture, dissecting every part by diligent care,
loosening every glaze by solvents too numerous to mention--including
alcohol and various adaptations of alkali--they had the ineffable
satisfaction of seeing the _design_ in a condition of crude, blank
chiaroscuro. Blinded by enthusiasm, having made careful notes of all
they had done, they flew at the white and black with pumice-stone and
potash; when, lo and behold! something very rubicund appeared, which
further excavation declared was the tip of the red--nose of King George
the Fourth! The Titian for which they had sacrificed so much was a
false god.”

The foregoing extracts were dictated by the late HENRY MERRITT, a very
distinguished restorer and artist, the author of _Pictures and Art
separated in the Works of the Old Masters_, and other works of which I
can truly say that the name MERRITT indicates that _nomen est omen_. I
was often by him while at his work, and had the benefit of seeing the
processes employed and the progress which he made in bringing to light
the “buried beauties” of pictures by great artists. What I have since
learned in addition will be found in the following pages.

Though it is simple and easy to describe the manner in which old
pictures in general are restored, it must be borne in mind that, as
regards a detailed and comprehensive description, the task would be the
most difficult in the whole range of repairing; for when a picture has
suffered so much that repainting is absolutely necessary, then nothing
but the skill of the original artist himself would ever do full justice
to it. In many cases we have pictures, like decayed works in wood, so
far gone that only a mere hint or sketch of the original remains, so
that they are generally deemed not worth keeping. In such cases the
restorer or repairer may very well do his best. There is, and always
will be, an immense field for every skilled repairer in this remaking
of antiques, to great profit, because there is an unlimited supply of
material, almost everywhere, wherewith to work.

To be a perfectly accomplished restorer of pictures one should be
an expert in chemistry, and not only one very familiar with all the
styles and schools of art, and gifted with great knowledge of the
_technique_ of great artists, but also no mean painter oneself. There
is a very general, but very vulgar and stupid, popular belief that the
restoration and cleaning of old pictures is a merely mechanical art,
about on a par with house-painting as regards skill or intelligence;
but this I earnestly deny, having found, since I have practised it
myself, that it affords a wide field to ingenuity, and that the
greatest artists living--I care not who they may be--can find in
restoration tasks which would fully tax all their skill, knowledge, or

Before proceeding to clean or repair a picture it is often advisable
for the artist to make an outline sketch of it with great care, in
order to correct and guide him in details. To do this, take very
transparent tracing-paper--the recipe for making which is elsewhere
given--then with a soft crayon-pencil, or a very black lead-pencil
(from 3 to 4 B), trace the whole. If the paper be not transparent
enough, then use thin glass, or, what is far better, sheets of mica,
gummed together at the edges, which will not break even if dropped.
Trace the picture on this with a fine brush and black oil-colour, or
any black paint which will hold. Then make a tracing from this on
transparent paper. To transfer crayon or lead pencil drawing to wood or
paper, very slightly dampen the surface of the latter, lay the tracing
on it face down, and rub the back of the latter with a burnisher or
ivory paper-knife. It will thus be perfectly transferred. This making
preparatory sketches or copies will be found in many cases extremely
useful, as training the eye carefully to the work to be done.

It is not _invariably_ true, though a great authority on
picture-cleaning (HENRY MOGFORD) has declared the contrary--that
“pictures ... unquestionably enjoy their highest perfection at the
first moment of production.” Many artists recognise the truth that a
year, or even years, are needed to give a certain delicate tone, which
is like the ripeness of fruit, to certain pictures; and the same is
true of certain artists, though by no means in the same degree of all.
But there are many persons who can associate the mellowing tones of
age or the venerable grey of antiquity with nothing but dirt, decay,
and poverty; as was the case with an Italian marquis, who, having heard
that a distinguished artist[4] had copied an old moss-grown wall or
fragment of ruin on his estate, sent an apology to the latter, stating
that if he had known that such a distinguished person intended to copy
it he would have had it cleaned and lime-washed, not in glaring white
(he knew better than that, he said), but in light blue! So I have known
an American gentleman to be distressed at discovering the appearance
of lichen on a corner of a “spick-and-span, brand-new villa,” which
he at once declared must be cleaned and painted all over. People who
suffer from this vulgar mania of over-scouring are apt to imagine
that when they detect the least sign of age in a picture it suggests
dirt and neglect, and hurry it off to the cleaner; unless, indeed (as
is too often the case), they--with insufficient knowledge, and with
“notions generally derived from guess-work, and suggested by the usual
arrangements for taking care of other household objects”--attempt to
restore the work themselves, which has been the cause of the ruin of
thousands of great works of art.

It may here be observed that modern pictures, owing to the hurried
processes of manufacture and the use of cheap materials in
machinery-made paints, change so rapidly that many lose half their
value in fifty years’ time. And, as if this were not enough, we
have the sulphuric acids generated by coal-fires (especially that
from anthracite coal in America, which even eats away the lime in
chimneys), as well as the deleterious effects of gas, vapours from
food, and, finally, the want of air and light in ever-curtained and
shaded rooms.

The causes, in fact, which lead to deterioration in pictures are
almost as many as those which produce diseases in man, and in not a
few instances they will be found to be the same. These are, as I have
said, foul air or malaria, or want of fresh air, dampness, the smoke
of candles in churches, too long exposure to sunshine, the exhalations
of charcoal, sulphur, sinks, &c.; “in short, all penetrating scents
are injurious to painting, especially if it be new.” Owing to this
prevalence of gas and coal smoke in houses, allied to the bad quality
of paints, as now manufactured cheaply by machinery, it is, indeed,
considered doubtful whether any of the pictures painted during the
reign of Queen Victoria will exist in “half-visible” condition fifty or
a hundred years hence. There is, as regards them, a grand future for
the restorer. One need only look at most of Turner’s earlier pictures
to fully verify what is here asserted.

The face of all old pictures long untouched will always be found
covered more or less with what is simply dirt; that is, dust more or
less dissolved by moisture. Now, dust consists simply of all kinds of
substances, even invisible extinct animal organisms in vast numbers.
The first step is simply to wash away this dirt with distilled or rain
water and ox-gall. Use a very soft, clean sponge, and pass it over the
picture many times. The last time wrap the sponge in a clean, white
linen or muslin handkerchief to see whether the surface is quite clean.
This and nothing more will often produce an astonishing improvement.

The next task will be to remove the varnish. _Hot_ water attacks any
varnish, reducing it to a dry powder; but, as M. GOUPIL remarks, this
is _très hasarde_, or is very risky, because it may also attack and
dissolve anything like gum or glue in the colours. M. GOUPIL, however,
sanctions the use of cold water in cleaning even to mere abuse, in
which he is in contradiction to HENRY MOGFORD, whose work I regard as
by far the best with which I am acquainted on the subject of cleaning
and restoring pictures which I have read.[5] On this subject he says:--

       *       *       *       *       *

“During all operations of lining, and of picture-cleaning generally,
saturation by water is attended with disastrous effects, and the
use of it should therefore be limited to application by means of a
squeezed piece of sponge, or, what is better, a piece of buff leather,
soaked and wrung out. Water is a most dangerous enemy to pictures;
it penetrates to the priming or ground, loosens them by promoting
decomposition of the size with which they are worked, and thus lays the
foundation for their eventual disintegration and decay. Imbibed damp
will sooner or later cause the destruction of every woven material, and
while our daily experience shows its lamentable effects on the walls of
our dwellings, it will be well for us to remember that it is no less
destructive to the canvas of our pictures, and to the materials which
form its priming.

“All the pictures of the early masters of the Italian school, and
those of Claude and William Vandervelde, which are painted on chalk
and absorbent grounds, are in the greatest danger if washed with
water. It penetrates through the small crevices which may exist in the
paint, and often totally destroys the picture. If the painting be upon
canvas, like those of the two latter-named masters, it breaks into a
thousand small lines or cracks; and if upon panel, like the pictures of
Raffaelle, Andrea del Sarto, or Fra Bartolomeo, it breaks up the paint
by scaling it off in small points of the size of a pin’s head. If the
picture, again, is of the Spanish school, and is painted upon the red
absorbent grounds and upon a rough canvas, water not only breaks the
unity of its surface, but from the canvas being of a coarser texture
than the pictures of Claude or William Vandervelde, it often penetrates
in a greater proportion, and frequently scales off pieces as large as a
sixpence, especially in the dark shadows, or where the ground has not
been sufficiently protected by a thick _impasto_ (heavy coat or ground)
of colour. At all times and to all pictures water is more or less
dangerous, unless used with the greatest caution, and then it should
only be applied by means of a piece of thick buckskin leather well
wrung out, and left just wet enough to slip lightly over the surface
of the picture. In the case of some masters, as with those we have
specialised above, the free use of water may be regarded as next door
to absolute destruction; and the warmer and drier the weather the more
active and ruinous the operation. Instances have occurred in which an
Andrea del Sarto, a Claude and a William Vandervelde, were destroyed in
a few minutes by the injudicious use of simple water.”

       *       *       *       *       *

I have given this quotation in full, because water is generally the
first thing freely resorted to clean pictures by the ignorant. Thus I
have heard of very valuable pictures being actually given to common
servants or the washerwoman to scour clean, which was effected
with soap and hot water and sand, to the speedy ruin of the work.
Nor is it any great wonder that this should be done, when we find
in GOUPIL’S work that, while he admits that cold water “infiltrates
itself partially to the fissures of a painting and does great harm,”
he declares that “_hot_ water acts differently,” giving the impression
that it may be very freely used, and declaring that “clean cold water
harmlessly dissolves grease and dirt resulting from dust deposited by
the air.” This is true, but he does not seem, like Mr. MOGFORD, to have
fully understood the other side of the question. (_Manuel Général et
Complet de la Peinture à l’Huile_, par F. GOUPIL.)

For first cleaning away impurities from a surface MOGFORD recommends
_ox-gall_ to be applied with a soft brush. This may be obtained in
shilling or six-penny bottles from Winsor & Newton, or any other
dealers in artists’ materials. “It is,” he adds, “an excellent
detergent, which may be freely applied without fear. It must, however,
be well washed” (_i.e._, wiped) “off with pure water, or it will leave
a clamminess on the surface that may prevent the varnish, afterwards
applied, from drying.” But a distinction must be carefully borne in
mind between _washing_ with water and letting it _soak_ into a picture
and simply wiping off the surface with a damp chamois or buckskin
or soft _old_ linen handkerchief. In fact, this latter is the first
thing to be done before slightly cleaning the surface with the diluted
ox-gall. It is very necessary that the skilled cleaner shall understand
exactly the nature of varnishes, so as to know on what he is to work.
Thus, according to the picture, he may employ “liquor potassæ, oil of
tartar, spirits of wine, pure alcohol, liquor ammoniæ fortis, naphtha,
ether, soda, and oil of spike or lavender. The very nomenclature of
these powerful agents will at once show the great risk of their being
injudiciously or carelessly employed.”

Great care should be taken not to allow an excessive or unequal
quantity of cleaning fluid to gather in one place. Therefore all
pictures should be laid flat while being restored, as streams, for
instance of ammonia, would cut very irregularly into a surface.
With pictures of any value, the process of cleaning is always very
delicate, requiring much practice and very perfect knowledge of all the
principles of the art.

Where the varnishes are tender and thin, such as mastic, MOGFORD
advises the use of spirits of wine; but to be sure that no harm can be
done by it, it is desirable that “the spirit, which is usually sold
at 58° of strength, should be diluted by a fourth part of water, or
by the same proportion of rectified spirits of turpentine, or it may
be used with an addition of a sixth part of linseed oil, added to the
diluted or pure spirit.” In every instance the mixture is to be “well
shaken before taken,” or applied. Care should be taken to prevent oil
from softening the paint, which it is apt to do. As a rule it is best
to begin with the lightest or brightest portions of a picture--as,
for instance, the face of a portrait--as these parts are always the
hardest. Beginning by wiping the surface with white cotton wool and
turpentine, observe if any varnish comes off on it, and as soon as it
is seen change the part of the rubber used, else you will go on simply
taking up “dirt” from one place and rubbing it into another. This is
elsewhere explained as regards cleaning cloth or absorbing ink, that we
must continually subtract from and not add again to the ground.

“Turpentine is a counteracting medium, which instantly arrests the
action of the solvent spirit.” When all the varnish has thus been
removed, the whole may be wiped over with spirits of turpentine, and
then when dry revarnished, if nothing more be required.

Rubbing with the fingers, or powders, or any kind of dry cleaning must
be avoided, or else practised with great care, since it produces an
effect known as _woolliness_, which will begin to show very decidedly
after some time. But when a picture has had no varnish it can only be
cleaned mechanically, as by using tripoli, pumice-stone, or whiting.
This method requires great skill. Sometimes a very fine-edged scraper
or knife is used to thin the varnish before using turpentine.

“Solvents,” adds Mogford, “are only necessary to remove _varnish_.”
Unvarnished pictures are best cleaned by carefully wiping with buff or
chamois leather, damp, not _wet_, aided by a little powdered whiting.

Varnish, when not on a picture, may, however, be removed by rubbing
it with the fingers, or palm, or leather, aided by powdered resin, or
rosin. For certain purposes, as to make a panel of a piano thoroughly
seasoned for heat, and, as it were, enamel it, a coat of varnish is
applied, and when dry is rubbed down smooth with pumice-powder or
resin, and this process is repeated many times.

If pictures are painted in oil, directly on canvas, without a ground,
the paint sinks down in between the threads and lies thinly on them.
Therefore if there is rubbing on the surface the grain of the canvas
becomes very apparent. If oil-paint be laid directly on a panel of
wood, the soft parts between the hard fibres, lines, or grain shrink
away, drawing the paint with them. Old artists avoided this by laying
on a strong ground of gesso or plaster of Paris mixed with glue or
white of eggs.

The great task in cleaning is to remove the repainting or coats of
paint which have been added by restorers. I have seen this done with
extraordinary skill by the late Mr. MERRITT, who was recommended by
RUSKIN, and who was the first and most truly artistic restorer of his
time. I can recall his cleaning the most beautiful Carpoccio which I
ever saw, and a magnificent Velasquez, both of which had been repainted
again and again, and were in such wretched condition that even the
painter of the latter had been mistaken. They bore about the same
relation when untouched and afterwards that a dirty old rag has to a
magnificent cashmere shawl. “Caustic, soap-makers’ lye, liquor potassæ,
pure alcohol, and the scraper,” remarks MOGFORD, “are the ordinary
means to take off repaints; all of them dangerous appliances if not
closely watched and used without violence or carelessness.”

It is advisable to examine carefully the backs of old pictures for
signatures, date, or documents, all of which are sometimes pasted over
with other paper or canvas. Once, in Florence, I found in a small shop
a portrait of Charles I., but differing in many respects from any
which I had ever seen. I told the owner that it was by Vandyke, but
he insisted on it that it was by an Italian with some such name as
Guillermo or Gillonio, till I proposed that we should examine the back,
where we found, after some investigation, the name of Vandyke. At which
discovery the dealer promptly raised the price of the picture from one
hundred to one thousand francs, and it was, indeed, cheap enough at
that. A lady to whom I narrated the occurrence said, “Oh, why didn’t
you buy the picture before you told the man who painted it?” To which I
replied, “For the same reason that I did not steal a valuable ring out
of the case in the shop when his back was turned.” Much is said about
the shrewdness of dealers in antiques, but it has often happened to me
to explain to them that articles in their possession were worth far
more than they imagined; while, on the other hand, they will, surmising
that a thing _may_ be worth a great deal, charge a fearful sum for
something that is merely _cinque cento_; _e.g._, a thousand francs for
what is really dear at ten. I mention this in order that the reader may
realise (which few do) what bargains may be picked up by any one who
knows anything of art, and especially of the humble art of cleaning,
mending, or restoring, which lets us into a world of secrets even in
high art, and which is of more use to a picture-buyer than all the
high-flown æsthetic culture in all the works of all the rhapsodists of
the age.

The preceding remarks on _cleaning_ were drawn chiefly from the manual
by H. MOGFORD, and my own experiences. I add to them those of M. GOUPIL
on the same subject. The intelligent leader will find no difficulty in
collecting and drawing his own inferences from both:--

“When the picture is certainly in oil, steam may be used to remove the
varnish. There is, however, the great risk of loosening the painting
from its ground.”

But when a picture has been, instead of varnished, _glazed_ with white
of egg, we have a coating which, when old, cannot be dissolved by
water or acids; for this other and specially elaborate detergents, or
cleaners, are employed. There are few substances which so persistently
harden with time as the white of egg, as does also the yolk when boiled.

Ordinary varnish, when dry and old, can be removed by mechanically
scraping or rubbing with fine, dry powders, such as that of resin. The
dust from the varnish itself aids in the operation. This process is
slow and tiresome, but it is very often advisable to begin with it,
after washing, as it does not injure the colours. It is needless to say
that it requires great skill, care, and experience not to “cut into the

It may be remarked, as regards this, that in all cases where there is a
difference of opinion between the French and English artist--as in the
use of water--we must remember that both are, or may be, in the right
as regards certain kinds of pictures. So varied are the methods of
painters that it seems to me to be by far wiser to describe different
methods than to attempt the impossible task of giving infallible rules.

“Varnish can be removed by means of _spirits_. To effect this, lay the
picture on a table, and wet a small portion of it with spirits of
wine. After a minute or more, wash the place with clean water and a
sponge. Thus, little by little, clean the entire surface, taking care
not to injure the paint, When quite dry, apply new varnish.”

Practised restorers, who can tell by examination and knowledge of
the methods employed by painters what they can venture on, often use
detergents which would ruin the picture if applied by a person without
experience. These are alkaline salts, such as wood-ashes or lye, pearl
and pot ashes, or salts of tartar, all of which, except the latter, are
extremely hazardous for a tyro. Salts of tartar may be safely employed
if we begin with a feeble solution, which may be gradually strengthened.

Wood-ashes, _very_ finely sifted, are spread on the face of the
picture, and delicately, or carefully and lightly, rubbed with a soft
sponge. This must be carefully washed away as soon as the surface is

Other detergents failing, borax dissolved in water may be employed.
This works slowly but surely; but, as M. GOUPIL remarks, this
_lessive_, like wood ashes, must not be left long on the colours, but
be promptly wiped away with a sponge. Lime-water will serve as well as
the solution of borax.

Soaps of different qualities are also used for cleaning, according to
the state of the picture. It may be here again remarked that no exact
rule can be given regarding an art specially founded on skill and
experience. The beginner should first try his hand on a few common old

Soap made into a foam or lather with water will generally clean
a surface, however dark it may be from smoke. Let the foam settle
completely, and then wipe it clean with a damp sponge.

Essential oils, especially turpentine, or those of spikenard, lavender,
and rosemary--of either two parts of spirits of wine to one of
turpentine, &c.--are commonly used to clean pictures.

Pictures not varnished require great care and skill in cleaning. For
these _yeast_ with water, or flour mixed with lime-water, is employed;
also spirits of wine or vinegar. Ammonia is also used. GOUPIL mentions
that one of the most dangerous mediums for this purpose is the old one
of urine, and that it should never be used.

When the canvas of a picture is very old and rotten, it may be replaced
by a process requiring the utmost nicety. If only certain portions are
injured, it will suffice to glue pieces of fine canvas on the back.

To completely transfer the painting, gum over its surface two coats of
soft paper. Lay it on the face, and carefully remove the old canvas
ground. This is effected by wetting every thread till soft, and then
picking it away. A piece of pumice-stone and tweezers are also used.
When all fibres are removed, carefully glue a canvas and apply it,
pressing it well on the back of the paint. Before it is quite dry,
press the picture with a warm flat-iron, not too hot. Then remove the
paper carefully with a damp sponge and by tearing.

To transfer a picture on wood, the back is sawn into many small
triangles or squares, which are carefully chiselled away one by one.
Then with files and scrapers approach the paint till only a thin film
of wood remains. The last remnant is wetted with a sponge, and picked
or scraped away. First, use paper on the face and restore as before.

There is a great enemy to pictures in mould or mildew, which has
quasi-equivalents in must, dry-rot, _mucor_, or _robigo_. It is divided
by Goupil into apparent softening and actual softening or mildew. The
former is mildew or mere superficial mould; _i.e._, a light vegetation
which gathers on the surface from germs in the air. It can easily be
wiped away, and is caused by dampness. Sometimes, when long rooted, it
destroys the varnish, which must be replaced. There is also a mould
which is properly decay, or a radical destruction of fabric, for which
there is, in fact, no cure, save in renewing the canvas and retouching
the picture.

Where a picture is painted by glazing, especially where varnish comes
in instead of body, it is apt to crack or thread like a cobweb. In time
these divisions will scale off in flakes. Wax dissolved in turpentine
is used for the light cracks. Scaling must be treated by careful
softening with oil and pressing down a warm iron. The surface must,
previous to ironing, be covered with chalked paper.

It sometimes happens that a picture has been painted over, and I have
seen a very distinguished restorer in such case succeed in removing the
outer coat. This requires great knowledge of the chemical properties
of the paint; also of solvents, and the different methods of scraping,
absorbing, &c. Still, it can be learned with patience. Extraordinary
results have been thus obtained. It has often happened that men with
little or no knowledge of painting have fancied themselves capable of
“repairing” very valuable pictures, and so smeared them over to utter

Before attempting to retouch an old picture, let the restorer make a
copy of it. If he can do this very well he is qualified for his work,
and not otherwise. The fraternity of picture-cleaners and menders
may protest against this; but the vast amount--I may say the vast
proportion, meaning the majority--of good pictures spoiled by bad
retouching confirms the truth of my assertion.

It is worth remarking in this connection that very few amateurs,
æsthetes, or “connoisseurs,” so called, appreciate the value of mere
_technique_ or practical work in art. They “swarm for the ideal,” and
that is all. The great masters were wiser than this. It would do much
good if very generous prizes on a large scale were to be paid annually
for copies of great pictures. And I would have rewards given specially
for pictures painted with colours prepared by the artists themselves
from chemically pure and unalterable materials, according to the
ancient recipes. I would like to see a society formed of artists who
would produce such work. It would certainly find buyers--in time.

There are to be found in most curiosity shops in Italy panel pictures
of the fourteenth century, earlier or later, with gold grounds, which
can be had of all prices, from a very few francs upward. They are
without name and of no great artistic merit, but very curious and
interesting indeed as ancient relics painted “before oil,” and as
inspired with the spirit of the Middle Ages. These generally require
restoration. They were painted on wood of all kinds, very often on
deal. The surface was covered with a thin coat of gesso or plaster
of Paris, mixed with the white of egg, and on this the gilding and
paint were applied. The latter was in white of egg and fig-juice, or
encaustic--that is, wax and white of egg, which is the most ancient and
durable method known; so much so that long after every oil-painting
ever executed (if left to itself) will have disappeared, the ancient
Egyptian, Roman, or Middle Ages pictures will be as fresh as if made

If a panel be warped or bent, it is straightened by damping the concave
side, and screwing to it crosspieces. If the ground be scaled away,
supply it with powdered plaster of Paris mixed with gum-water. The
repainting can be executed with water-colours mixed with white of egg,
_gouache_, or even oil in small quantities, which should be rather
rubbed in or glazed than painted in body.

A common panel picture of the fourteenth and fifteenth century, painted
with white of egg, can be well enough restored with water-colour, or
_gouache_, and then varnished. But the colour with _gouache_ medium
will not _hold_ well, except on the gesso-ground. It is apt to scale
off from any smooth, hard surface. Therefore it is difficult to restore
them by painting on the old hard glaze. Most of the mediums which
are sold to heighten water-colours--_e.g._, Winsor & Newton’s glass
medium--will cause the colour to adhere.


  White wax                   10
  Resin                        5
  Essence of turpentine       40

Melt the wax in a _bain-marie_, pass the solution through a linen
strainer, and lay it on in successive coats on a wall which is first
heated by a hand-furnace or brazier. To close holes in the wall use a
putty made of wax, gum-animé, resin, and whiting.

Colours are prepared for wax-painting by grinding them with a
gluten. They are the same in substance as those mixed with oil for
oil-painting. The gluten is made as follows:--

  Resin                          1
  White wax                      4
  Essence of spikenard          16

A harder gluten can be made by substituting copal for the gum-animé.

There is a vast field for profitable labour in the cleaning and
restoration of old pictures, as well as of antiques of all kinds, and
thousands of young or even elder artists, whose life is a painful
struggle towards becoming known, would do well to endeavour to raise
the art of restoration to its proper place, instead of being ashamed to
descend to it.

The restorer should make a point of studying _varnishes, oils, and
colours_, with great care. Let him read what cyclopædia articles and
books he can find on these subjects, and make all practical inquiries
from manufacturers and dealers. He should, if he intends to seriously
practise the art, study chemistry. I can imagine no better restorer
than a skilful analyst. There is a great deal yet to be learned
regarding colours, and most of it will come by the way of chemistry.
A great deal is, however, actually being revived or arriving as new
from training “the popular eye” to hitherto unaccustomed shades, tints,
and tones. During the Middle Ages, when culture was exhausted in art
and decoration, there was a marvellous development in this respect,
even in most delicate details, though much of it now seems so “loud”
or excessive to us. We have of late years learned a great deal from
China and Japan as regards subdued colours. It may be that as in
Oriental music even the tenth part of a note becomes as distinct to the
practised ear as a natural one, so these blendings and subdivisions of
hues may be as perceptible to people as the normal colours. All of this
should be carefully studied by the restorer as well as the painter.

The restoration of a fine work of art which has become utterly dim,
wrinkled with a thousand lines, and, it may be, utterly ugly to beauty
and freshness, is so much like a resurrection or transfiguration to
new life, youth, and beauty, that poets have not failed to use it as
a simile for all that is expressive of renaissance. Thus Dean Hole,
in his Memoirs, remarks that, “as when some beautiful picture which
has been concealed and forgotten, removed in time of battle lest it
should be destroyed by the enemy, is found after many years, and is
carefully cleaned and skilfully restored, and the eye is delighted with
the successive development of colour and of form, and the life-like
countenance, the historical scene, the sunny landscape, or the moonlit
sea come out once more upon the canvas; so in that great revival of
religion which began in England more than half a century ago the
glorious truths of the Gospel were restored.” Regarded in itself, the
art of restoring beauty is both beautiful and noble, and deserves to be
regarded as such.


    RECIPE.--_The word. A formula or prescription is a_ recipe,
    _derived from the Latin word_ recipe, _meaning take. An
    acknowledgment of money paid is a_ receipt_, from_ receptus, _or
    received. A description of the materials to be used in making a pie
    is not a_ receipt, _but a_ recipe.--Familiar Errors.

TO CLEAN WOOLLEN CLOTH.--Rub it with sal-ammoniac and water till clean,
then wash with pure water. This liquid is very useful, when any article
of clothing has been stained by vinegar, wine, or lemon, to restore the
original colour.

An old-fashioned but excellent method of cleaning greased silk ribbons
or cloth is as follows:--Lay the ribbon on a wad or flat surface
of cotton wadding, strew on this dried clay, or calcined magnesia,
or whiting, and over this another layer of wadding. Pass over it a
flat-iron not too warm. The oil or grease will be absorbed into the
cotton. Repeat this till the cure is effected. If any spots still
remain, paint them with yolk of egg, dry the stuff in a draught of air,
and when quite hardened remove the yoke and wash with water.

WINE-STAINS can be removed by simply _pressing_ on them pads dampened
with cold water. This method will succeed, when wiping only spreads a
stain. Salt alone is also employed.

“When a lady’s skirt of any material has had spilt on it gravy, wine,
oil, or any _light liquid_, as distinguished from such substances as
paint, pitch, or tar, do not attempt, as is usually the case, to wipe
or wash it clean. Lay a linen sheet or even spongy white paper--wanting
this, newspapers may be used--on a table; on this spread the soiled
fabric very evenly. Then lay on the upper surface another clean white
sheet, or white muslin cloth, or napkins or towels, and press on it
till as much as possible of the fluid is sucked out. By changing
the white cloths or paper, and pressing continually, the fabric can
be very nearly cleaned. Then dust it well with calcined magnesia in
powder or whiting. Where these cannot be had chalk will answer. This
will generally absorb all that remains of the grease.”--_Notes by a
Housekeeper (MS.)._

“Clean, dry blotting-paper laid on grease-stains is admirable for
extraction. Apply pressure with a flat-iron or hand-roller such as is
used for bread. There are blotting-paper rollers, made for ink, which
are quite suitable for cleaning cloth; but the paper should be thrown
away the instant it has received any grease; otherwise it will only
spread the stain and make it indelible by rubbing it into the fibre of
the threads. A good soft sponge will also be found to be almost equal
to it.”--_Notes by a Housekeeper (MS.)._

OLD WOOLLEN OR SILK GARMENTS can be very brilliantly renewed in
the following manner:--They are steeped in sulphuric cupreous acid
(copper or blue vitriol), oxide of lead, or bismuth oxide, or simply
with their metallic oxides, and then exposed to steam, mingled with
sulphuric acid gas. Another method is to steep the stuffs simply in
a solution of sulphuric acid and copper or of oxide of bismuth. This
is slowly heated, but the heating must be qualified according to the
colour of the stuffs to be revived. The application of these requires
great care and some knowledge or experience.

Ink for restoring inscriptions on metal of any kind, silver, zinc, or
brass:--To one part of crystallised acetic acid, oxide of copper, one
of ammonia, and half a part of soot from fir wood. Mix in a saucer with
ten parts of water. This is said to resist exposure to the weather very

can be obtained, is RAW HIDE. This material dries as hard as any wood
and is tougher than any textile fabric. Thus, if a broken wheel or any
portion of a vehicle is tied with a thong of raw hide, firmly drawn,
when the latter dries, shrinking a little, it holds better than iron.
Raw or untanned ox-hide or similar skin, when dried, is in fact similar
to parchment, and, like it, resembles horn in hardness. The strongest
trunks in the world are made in America from raw hide. This material,
when made into small objects, such as flasks, boxes, sheaths, or
portable ink-stands, has often withstood the wear of generations. As it
is cheap, easily moulded into form, or stamped, it is remarkable that
it is no longer used as it once was.

LEAD-PENCIL OR CRAYON DRAWINGS can be preserved from rubbing by a light
wash of gum of any kind, diluted varnish, or even milk. The latter is
in most cases preferable. It is also preservative of handwriting, and,
like all glazes, prevents fading.

BASES FOR BEADS and similar work can be made as follows:--Take
mother-of-pearl dust, which can be bought cheaply at a turner’s,
powder or levigate it finely, mix it with half its bulk of fine white
barley-meal, and make it up with a weak solution of gum-mastic. Also
take snail-shells, or the glaze of any large, hard sea-shells, washing
them first in strong lye to clean them. Pulverise and make up with
yolk of eggs and alum, or any other fine binder. The same can be done
with rock-crystal or pure flint. Grind it to finest powder, and make
it up with a well-incorporated mixture of the white of eggs and pure
gum-arabic. This will, when dry, become hard as a stone, and more and
more waterproof with age.

TO PULVERISE GLASS.--First put in the fire till red-hot, then drop it
into cold water, after which reduce it in a mortar. Glass-powder thus
made, mixed with almost any cement, renders it extremely hard. It is
also mixed with paint.

BURNISHED STEEL OR IRON-WORK can be preserved from rusting by rubbing
the article with oil of cloves or oil of lavender; also with a mixture
of turpentine, oil of lavender or cloves, and petroleum. Mercurial
ointment is commonly used for guns.

RUST can be removed from iron by rubbing it with oil of tartar (_oleum
tartari_), using a woollen rag.

BRASS-WARE, when it has become dull or rusty, may be renewed and made
to look like gold. Take sal-ammoniac, grind it in a mortar with saliva;
rub this on the brass; lay it on hot coals to dry it well, and tub it
with a woollen cloth. So says JOHANN WALLBERGER; adding: “With this
art a certain man did once, in Rome, gain much money, inasmuch as he
thereby did clean the brass lamps of the churches and other things of
the same metal.” There is another preparation for the same purpose
still more gold-like. It consists of sulphur, chalk, and the soot from
wood fires. But as it soon disappears, the brass should be lackered or

THE BEST CLEANER FOR BRASS with which I am acquainted is a German
preparation used by BARKENTIN & KRALL, Regent Street, from whom it can
also be obtained.

A VERY STRONG CEMENT, and one good for luting, can be made by combining
sturgeon’s bladder, dissolved in spirits, with finest pulverised flint
or sand.

GLUE, into which resin has been well infused by heat, combined with
sand or ashes or clay, forms a strong cement, useful for all kinds of
coarse work.

A VERY GOOD, STRONG CEMENT is made as follows:--To three-eighths of a
pound of water add three-eighths of a pound of spirits and a quarter
of a pound of starch; also, prepare two ounces of good glue in water,
mixed with two ounces of thick turpentine, and stir well into the first
composition. This is a very good bookbinders’ glue.

THE TUFA OR SOFT STONE which abounds in Italy and elsewhere is much
used when reduced to powder and burned for building. It is also useful
as a cement. An old writer says it can be brayed in a mortar, but that
“there are many who, for lack of a mortar, take old baptismal fonts out
of the churches, and in lieu of a pestle use the clapper of a church

A CURIOUS DECORATION may be made by drawing figures--for example, of
animals--with glue or gum on a wall surface, and then powdering it with
cloth-dust of appropriate colours. These figures can be stencilled.

As of all repairing and restoring that of _human beauty_ is the most
important, it may be worth while to give here a few recipes, which have
held their own for centuries:--

TO MAKE WRINKLES AND FRECKLES DISAPPEAR.--This is more possible than is
generally supposed, and I have known a lady, a great beauty, of whom
all my readers have heard, who at fifty years of age had artificially
and miraculously preserved her face in perfect smoothness, though I do
not know by what means. The following is given by WALLBERGER:--“Take
fine, pure alum, compound it carefully with the fresh white of eggs,
and boil it gently in a pipkin, stirring it constantly with a wooden
stick or spoon till it forms a soft paste. Spread this on the face,
morning and evening, for two or three days, and you will soon see
that it is free from wrinkles and freckles, and marvellously fair and
pleasant to view. Frivolous souls may carry the sinful misuse of such
beauty to their own account; the virtuous hold in horror all such
deeds” (_Zauberbuch_, 1760).

LEMON-JUICE or the salts of lemon, or lemon-juice and salt, are of
great service in whitening the hands and causing freckles to disappear.

GUM-BENZOIN DISSOLVED IN SPIRITS may be had of every apothecary. Pour
a few drops into a wine-glassful of warm water, and it will form a
milk-white emulsion, which is a perfect and harmless cosmetic for the
face, and serves as a delightful soap in washing. This is the _lac
virginis_ so much used two centuries ago.

EAU DE COLOGNE mixed with water forms a white emulsion, which is much
superior to any soap for delicate hands. It forms a perfectly harmless
cosmetic for the face. Even a few drops of it in a basin of water
will have a good result. Too much of it, or of any wash, will have a
contrary effect, and dry the skin. If the mouth be rinsed with this
emulsion of _eau de cologne_ and water, it will purify the breath, and
that for a long time if used as a gargle.

A STRONG MARKING-INK, or black dye, which will resist much exposure
to the weather, is made as follows:--Take gum-arabic 10 lbs., logwood
liquor (specific gravity 1.37) 20 fluid oz., bi-chromate of potash 2½
oz., with water sufficient to dissolve the bi-chromate. Dissolve the
gum in one gallon of water, strain, add the logwood liquor, mix, and
let the mixture stand for twenty-four hours; then stir in rapidly the
bi-chromate solution, and add a little nitrate of iron and fustic acid.
If too thick, thin with lukewarm water.

A VERY HARD CEMENT can be made by digesting fluor spar for some time
in sulphuric acid, adding magnesium sulphate and stirring calcined
magnesia into the mixture.

A RED CEMENT FOR IRON OR STONE OR LUTING is made of red lead and
litharge in equal parts mixed with concentrated glycerine to the
consistency of soft putty. When dry it is water and fire proof.

SILICO ENAMEL is a thin liquid glaze, finer than varnish, which is
easily applied to all polished metals, as well as other substances.
It may be obtained in bottles, price one shilling, with brush, of the
Silico Enamel Company, 97 Hampstead Road, London, N.W.

LIGHT-COLOURED GLOVES may be cleaned by rolling bread-crumb over them;
also with indiarubber. Also by means of benzine. Several patent washes
for this purpose are now sold.

CLEANING MARBLE.--“If ‘Sculptor’ will get some salts of wormwood,
and dissolve in warm water, then mix with whiting into a moderate
paste, and apply to stone or marble, and let it remain upon either
for twenty-four hours--and if not successful the first time, apply
again--he will draw all stains out of marble, and clear all lichen
either from sandstones or oolitic stones. Thoroughly wash the stone
with a strong soap (say, of Hudson’s No. 2 soap powder) and lukewarm
water, and, when thoroughly dry, give a coat of sulphuretted oil. He
can make his own oil. Boil in a bath one quart of linseed-oil for one
hour, with half-a-pound of flower of sulphur gently and continually
stirring same; then take off fire and let cool; then pour oil from
sediment, using oil upon stone. No lichen will hurt his stone if out
exposed to the air, for the rain will wash all clean every time. I
have cleaned several statues with nothing but Hudson’s No. 2 and
water.”--_Work, April 2, 1892._

CALCINED MAGNESIA, or calcined and powdered bone, laid for some time on
simply oiled or greased marble, which has first been well washed with
soap and water, will often extract the stain. For ink use oxalic acid
in weak solution with water.

GUM-DEXTRINE, or gum substitute, is made from roasted flour. It forms,
mixed with water, a gum not much inferior to gum-arabic, for which it
is, as the name denotes, a substitute. It is very extensively used in
many manufactures, and may be obtained of any chemist. It sometimes
happens that it is too brittle after drying, and does not hold. In such
case add four or five drops of glycerine to a teacupful of the dextrine
in solution.

MOUTH GLUE (MUNDLEIM) OR SOLID CEMENT.--This is sold by stationers in
thin, flat sticks or tablets, and is used by wetting and rubbing it,
chiefly for paper. It is made as follows for labels:--

  Sturgeon’s bladder        25
  Sugar                     12
  Water                     36
  Carbolic acid

The sturgeon’s bladder is first dissolved, the sugar then added, also
a few drops of carbolic acid, which causes it to set more firmly, and
also to resist mould in dampness, induced by the presence of sugar.
This cement is applicable to glass, wood, or metal. Like the following,
it has the advantage of being always ready to use, and requires no
boiling. If it becomes too hard to use freely, let so much of it as is
required steep for a time in water. Many think, from merely dampening
it in the mouth when it is hard, and using it immediately, that it is
a very weak adhesive, which is a mistake. A great deal of that sold by
the stationers is, however, of very inferior quality, and made with
very common glue.


  Transparent glue, No. 1      24
  Sugar                        13
  Gum-arabic                    5
  Water                        50

The glue, sugar, and gum are boiled in the water until a drop let fall
on a slab hardens. It is then rolled and cut into flat cakes.

TO MEND OR MAKE MEERSCHAUM PIPES.--Dissolve caseine in silicate of
soda; stir into the cement fine calcined magnesia. By the addition of
meerschaum powder a close imitation of meerschaum in the mass can be

TURKISH CEMENT of the strongest kind, and such as is used to attach
gems to metal, is made as follows:--

  Sturgeon’s bladder cement        30
  Mastic (best)                     2
  Gum-ammoniac                      1
  Spirits of wine                  10

The sturgeon’s bladder, shredded, is dissolved with spirits of wine
while remaining in a warm place; the gum is also dissolved in spirit
and mixed with the sturgeon’s bladder; the whole must be then carefully
and slowly boiled to a syrup. Close with a cork, as it is sure to gum

TO IMPROVE CORKS.--When bottles contain substances which adhere to
the _cork_ and _harden_, the latter should be first steeped in oil or
vaseline, or boiled in a mixture of both.

ARMENIAN CEMENT.--This is much like Diamond and Turkish cements:--


  Sturgeon’s bladder       600


  Gum-ammoniac               6
  Mastic                    60

The sturgeon’s bladder is dissolved in spirits of wine separately, the
gum-ammoniac and mastic also, but with a minimum of spirit; the two are
then combined.

A cement which will resist the action of spirits of wine will often be
very valuable, as when large lids are to be fastened to jars containing
anatomical preparations. One is made as follows:--

  Cleaned manganese powder       20
  Soluble silicate of soda       10

This must be freely used to make the cover adhere. When in time it
shall become brittle, coat it over with a thick solution of asphaltum
in turpentine or petroleum.

TO SEAL BOTTLES very securely, roughen the opening or mouth with a file
or glass-paper, drive in a hard cork till half-an-inch below the top,
and then seal it with silicate of soda mixed with marble-dust.

CHLORIDE OF ZINC added to silicate of soda and oxide of zinc forms a
very good cement, which will resist most influences.

BREAD macerated with glue or gelatine, with a little glycerine, makes
an admirable substance for artificial flowers, casts, medallions, &c.
If worked with gum-arabic and a little alum, or dextrine, or common
mucilage, we shall have the same result. It can also be worked with
thin varnish or gutta-percha cement; also with diluted sulphuric or
nitric acids to produce a hard substance. It may here be observed that
_bread_ is for certain work far superior to flour or starch paste,
since the combination with _yeast_ causes a development of cellular
tissue, the result of which is a firmer and more wax-like substance. I
was led to observe this at first, not from what I read of the action
of acids on bread, but from observing the bread-flowers made by the
Italian peasantry to adorn images of saints. I believe that in these
there is a little vinegar mixed. They are quite wax-like. The bread
used should be soft household bread, of course well kneaded with
the acid and colours. Bread-paste would probably combine well with
indiarubber in solution.

Of late, German illustrated newspapers have published patterns of small
ornamental dishes made of dough or bread, intended to receive conserves
of fruit and other edibles--the dishes themselves not being intended to
be eaten.

Soft bread with a little varnish or any ordinary gum and a little
glycerine, well worked, makes an admirable filler for cracks in wood.
Combined with any gum, or even with tragacanth or peach or cherry
gum, and lamp-black (or liquid Indian ink), it forms a cement which
resembles ebony. The more thoroughly it is macerated the harder it
will be. Casts of panels, &c., made with this are really beautiful.
Rub with oil and the hand after it is quite dry. Add a few drops of
glycerine and alum in solution to prevent cracking, or, better, a
_little_ indiarubber. Soft rye bread hardens to a rather tougher
cement than wheat. Bread cement makes an admirable ground for gilding
or painting. Bread macerated with lime and white of egg forms a very
hard composition like ivory. Bread, glue, and glycerine, _ditto_.

HORSE-CHESTNUT PASTE.--This is called a cement, but it is properly a
paste like that of flour. Horse-chestnuts are generally neglected, but
they can be profitably utilised for paste, which admits of the same
combinations as flour.

WASTE TEA-LEAVES from which the tea has been extracted can be macerated
with gum and treated as rose-leaves to form artificial ebony. Carefully
separate all the hard portions.

GUM FOR GENERAL USE, like gum-arabic:--

  Common sugar, by weight      12
  Water                        36
  Slacked lime                  3

Stir the lime into the warm solution of sugar and water. Keep it
boiling and stir it often for one hour. Pour off the liquid from the
lees of the lime. This gum also admits of modifications. One of these
is the well-known SYNDETIKON, which is made as follows:--To fifteen
parts of the sugar and lime solution add three of good glue, leaving
them to soak for twenty-four hours; warm gradually, and frequently
stir, till the glue is dissolved. Then let it boil for a few minutes.
This makes a good plain cement, which serves to unite paper, leather,
glass, or porcelain. It, however, spots or changes colour in paper, &c.

A GENERAL CEMENT, which may be used for joining metal and glass, stone,
tiles, &c., is thus made:--

  Plaster of Paris      21
  Iron filings           3
  Water                 10
  White of eggs          4

THE GENERAL MENDING CEMENT so commonly sold consists of nothing but--

  Gum-arabic            1
  Plaster of Paris      3

This must be mixed with water when used. It does not, however, resist
the action of hot water.

A CEMENT WHICH RESISTS ACIDS is made as follows:--Indiarubber is
dissolved in double its weight of linseed-oil, and kneaded to a dough
with white bolus. Should the cement harden too quickly, add to it a
little litharge.


  Indiarubber            8
  Tallow                 2
  Linseed-oil           16
  White bolus            3

This does not resist high temperature, but is good against acids.


  Gutta-percha       2
  Wax                1
  Shellac            3

SOREL’S CEMENT.--This consists of oxide of zinc combined with its
chloride. The chloride of zinc is in a heavy, syrupy form, which,
combined with the white oxide, sets very hard. It is chiefly used for
filling teeth, but is also applicable to making medallions and other
objects of art. For this latter purpose it is mixed with powdered
chalk, pulverised glass, &c. The process of preparing and combining
the ingredients of this cement is, however, so tedious that it is most
unlikely that the ordinary repairer will care to attempt it; the more
so as there are many preparations far superior to it.


  Flour-paste          100
  Alum water             3
  Dextrine-paste         5

This may also be applied in many ways.


  Glue in powder        20
  Flour                 10
  Bran                   5

To be well mixed with water.

As alum cannot be affected by petroleum, it is used to fasten rings to
petroleum-lamp holders. These are lined with alum which has been melted
by heat. Alum melted forms a strong cement for glass and metal.

PASTE FOR WALL-PAPER.--Ten parts of flour are made into common paste;
add one of glue boiled in hot water; add to the whole one-twentieth
part of white of egg. This holds very firmly. Paste made with flour and
gum-arabic, &c., does not mould or turn sour if it be mixed with a few
drops of oil of cloves or carbolic acid.

CLAY MORTAR.--Where lime cannot be had, a very good mortar for chimneys
may be made by mixing clay with common molasses. This is said (LEHNER)
to resist the action of heat when well dried.

Another fireproof cement is made as follows:--

  Clay               40
  Flint-sand         40
  Slacked lime        4
  Borax               2

This is mixed with a very little water. It is used as a wash, and
should, when dry, be heated by fire.

LOG CABINS and houses built with wood are, in America, often swarming
with vermin to a degree which would seem incredible. In all such cases
the joints and cavities should be well packed and plastered with
cement--lime if possible--and then whitewashed. Rat-holes should be
plugged with stones or gravel and then cemented.

ZEIODELETH.--Vessels of wood, iron, stoneware, or of moulded cement,
are often eaten away by the action of acids and alkalies. To prevent
this they are in Germany coated with a composition called _Zeiodeleth_.
In its simplest form this is simply sulphur mixed with _very finely_
sifted flint-sand, or else ground glass, chinaware, or stone. Of this
thin plates are also made to coat such vessels, or even to form them.


  Sulphur             20
  Glass-powder        40


  Powdered flint       90
  Graphite             10
  Sulphur             100


A FLUID PASTE is made by pouring into a porcelain jar 5 kilogrammes
of potato-starch with 6 kilogrammes of water and 250 grammes of white
nitric acid. Keep the whole in a warm place for forty-eight hours,
stirring it frequently, and then boil it till syrupy and transparent.
Add a little water, or sufficient to make it fluid enough to be
filtered through a closely woven towel.


Dissolve 5 kilogrammes of gum-arabic to 1 of sugar in 5 quarts of
water, adding 50 grammes of nitric acid; warm to boiling, and then add
No. I. The result is a perfectly fluid adhesive, which will not mould,
and dries on paper with a glaze. It is adapted for postage-stamps,
marking over impressions, and fine stationery.

DURABLE FLOUR-PASTE FOR STATIONERS.--Take good flour-paste, adding
to it while boiling one-tenth part of clear liquid glue, to be well
stirred in. Add a few drops of carbolic acid or oil of cloves. Keep it
corked in wide-mouthed, large vials.


  Glue            600 grms.
  Sugar           250   ”

The glue must be of the best quality, and perfectly melted in water,
as usual, and the sugar stirred in. It is then steamed away until it
becomes hard when cold. To use, place it in hot water, when it at once
liquefies. This is specially used for paper.


  Colophonium (resin)                 100
  Common soap                         100
  Tar                                  50
  Whale-oil                            25

Smear the trunks of the trees with this. It may also be put on sheets
of brown paper to catch flies.

CEMENT FOR FILLING.--Take fresh curd (caseine), and knead it with water
to a putty. It can be used in this state for many purposes. To greatly
harden it, add one-twentieth of its weight in lime, and more or less of
some indifferent substance, such as chalk, calcined magnesia, oxide of
zinc, and colouring matter. This sets so hard that it may be used to
make casts or many small works of art.

FRENCH GLUES.--Two very excellent glues used in France are the _colle
forte de Flandre_ and that of _Givet_. GOUPIL recommends as the best
glue, where a very superior article is required, one made of equal
parts of the two. Break them up, let the pieces remain fifteen hours
in water, then boil for two hours in the _bain-marie_, or glue-kettle.
After a time the glue will settle and become clear. Add, if needed, a
little water from the _bain-marie_.

TO GIVE A SATIN GLOSS TO PAPER.--Paint with a broad, soft brush on
the paper with a solution of hypo-sulphite of barium (chemically
expressed by BaS_{2}O_{3}). It may be laid on by itself or mingled with
a colour. It is used sometimes by bookbinders. This may be applied in
water-colour pictures to the imitation of silk or satin.

GOMME LAQUE, or shellac, also gelatine glue, is sold in thin leaves. To
prepare it, put into a _bain-marie_ twenty parts of the gum to one of
flowers of sulphur, stir it well, and add a little lukewarm water. It
may be made into little bars by hand; let them cool, and warm them when
required for use.

A VERY GOOD CEMENT, which, according to FRED. DILLAYE, is both fire
and water proof, is made as follows:--Take half-a-pint of milk, as
much vinegar, mix them, and take away the whey. Add the white of five
eggs to the curd, mix the whole well, and add so much finely sifted
quicklime as will form a paste.

SNAIL CEMENT.--It is said that snails or slugs, mashed, form a strong
and hard glue. This is probable; also, that it would combine with
powdered quicklime, or carbonate of lime in powder, to set very hard.

TO MEND MARBLE use shellac in leaves, mixed with white wax.

TO MEND ALABASTER use gum-arabic mixed with powdered alabaster. This is
also useful for many other purposes.

A CEMENT useful for many purposes, also as a ground for painting, is
made as follows:--Take barley and soak it in six equivalents of water
for several days, or till the barley expands or sprouts. Throw out
the barley, after pressing it. This gives a glutinous liquid, which,
combined with pipeclay and white soap, sets hard. It is improved by
adding the powder of calcined bone. Barley water may also be used
in many other combinations. Gum-arabic and thin glue, dextrine, and
fish-glue may be used in its place.


  Glue (fluid)                      1½
  Sugar-candy                       3
  Gum-arabic                          ¾

The two latter to be dissolved in six parts of water.

ANOTHER FOR THE SAME:--Take strong lime-water; combine it with new
cheese. The latter is to be mixed with two parts of water, so as to
form a soft mass. Pour into this the lime-water, but see that there is
no solid cheese in it. This will form a liquid which can be used as a

CAT-GUT, which is, however, made from the intestines of sheep, &c., is
of great service in some kinds of repairing, owing to its strength. It
can be made into very small cord, which will sustain a man.

Very strong cords for fishermen are also said to be made by taking
silkworms just before they spin, cutting them open, and using the
silk, which is then found in a solid, longish lump, and which can be
artificially drawn out into any shape. It is probable that the silk in
this state could be thinned and applied in combination with fibre to
produce useful results. It is also probable that this substance, or the
silk _en masse_, could be used for mending silk fabrics in many ways.
It could be produced very cheaply, because the greatest expense in
manufacturing silk is the reeling, winding, and spinning the thread.

An incredibly strong and serviceable silk is spun by the _elm-worm_,
which can be raised in any quantities wherever elm-trees abound. This
is much cultivated in China, and it is said that garments made of its
silk descend from father to son. It is several times larger than the
silkworm, and survives even the severe winters of Canada. It would be
much easier to raise than the delicate _bombyx_, or common silkworm. It
is worth noting that a man can carry easily in his pocket fifty yards
of cat-gut or elm worm silk cord strong enough to sustain his weight,
which is very useful for travellers to know, since it is useful to mend
harness or tether horses.

TO SOFTEN HORN.--This material can be softened so as to bend in hot
water. It requires long boiling. According to Geissler, a horn can be
moulded to shape by steeping the horn for two or three days in half a
kilogramme of black alicant, 375 grammes of newly calcined lime, and
2 litres (two full quarts) of hot water. Should the mixture assume a
reddish colour it is all right; if not, add more alicant and lime.
After the horn has been moulded, dry it in well-dried common salt. Horn
shavings and filings are made into a paste, which hardens by being
in a strong solution of potash and slacked lime, in which it becomes
jelly-like and can be moulded. This must be subjected to pressure to
expel the moisture. By adding a little glycerine its brittleness is
much diminished.

ARTIFICIAL BONEWORK.--Reduce the bone or ivory to a very fine,
flour-like powder, mix it very thoroughly with the white of eggs, and
a very hard and tough mass will be the result. This can be turned
and highly polished. This is improved in hardness and quality by
grinding the mass again and subjecting it to heat and pressure (_Die
Verarbeitung Hornes, &c._, von Louis Edgar Andés; Vienna, 1892).

TO PROPERLY DUST CLOTHES.--The following extract on cleaning garments
is taken from my forthcoming work, entitled _One Hundred Arts_:--

       *       *       *       *       *

“The obvious way to remove dust from a coat--as some take evil out of
children (_vide_ NORTHCOTE’S _Fables_)--is by whipping or beating with
a stick. This, indeed, effects the purpose, but it speedily breaks the
fibre of the cloth. Therefore in Germany, as in Italy, a little _bat_
plaited of split cane or reeds is employed to exorcise the demon of
dust, known as _Pāpākeewis_ to the Chippeways. But better than this is
a small _whisp-broom_. Half a century ago this simple contrivance was
only known in the United States and in Poland.

“Whip the garment with the _side_ of the soft whisp, and as the dust
rises to the surface brush it away. If the reader will try this on any
coat, however clean it may be, he will be astonished to find how much
dust he will extract or raise.

“All the dust which thus lies hidden in cloth, when it comes to the
surface, acts as _grit_ or powder insensibly but certainly, and helps
to wear away the surface whenever it is touched. That we take in dust
every time we go out will appear from inspecting a silk hat. Again,
the dust on a coat, &c., every time it is rubbed by the cleanest hand,
takes in grease, which in time aids in spoiling the surface. In fact,
half the wear-out of all cloth is due to dust alone.

“Therefore, if we _carefully_ dust our clothes with a whisp, every
time we take them off, fold them with care, and lay them in a drawer,
they will last much longer than they do. Pure air free from dust is
as conducive to the well-being of coats as to that of their wearers,
and Dominie Sampson uttered more truth than he imagined when he
observed that the atmosphere of his patron’s dwelling was singularly
preservative of broadcloth.”

       *       *       *       *       *

In proof of this it may be observed, that as a sandblast attacks some
substances exclusively, so dust or grit injures certain fabrics and not
others, and that the latter are all known as the more lasting fabrics.


  Accuracy and care required in making cements, 28

  Adding art to arts, 47

  Alabaster, to mend, 249

  ALLSTON, the painter, 123

  Alum as a base, 6

  Amber, repairing and imitating, 156-158;
    carving amber, 158

  American cement, 240

  American glaze for postage-stamps, 113, 114

  ANDÉS, LOUIS EDGAR, 207, 252;
    varnishes, 4;
    on ivory and bone, 144, 155;
    on working horn, 149

  Arabic, gum, cement of, with vinegar, 37

  Avoiding excess in cementing, 31

  Badly bound books, 108

  BAER, J., catalogue on glass, 44

  Bark, powdered, combined with glue, 82

  Barley cement, 249, 250

  Bases for beads, &c., 234


  Bell made of a bottle, 49

  Bent leaves in books, or dog’s ears, 89, 90

  Benzoin, gum, or _lac virginis_, 236, 237

  Binding books, 97-100 (_illustrations_), 97, 98

  Blood in cements, 6

  Blowpipe, the, 17, 36

  Boats or canoes made from shavings, 52

  Boiling china in milk, 19

  Bone, calcined, 92;
    artificial, 251

  Bookbinders’ varnish, 89;
    glue, 235

  Books, repairing and restoring, 86-120

  Book-worms, 115-120

  BÖTTGER’S cement for pavements, stone slabs, &c., 29;
    acid-proof cement, 247

  Bottles, cracked, how to mend, 26, 37;
    to close (a cement), 44;
    to cork or seal them firmly, 161;
    to seal, 241

  Brass-ware, to look like gold, 234, 235

  Bread cement, 241-243

  Bread in cements, 8

  BREWSTER, Sir D., 37

  Brickwork tiles, how to repair, 28

  Burnished steel or iron work, 234

  Canes and bows made of shavings, 54

  Caoutchouc, indiarubber, gutta-percha, 2, 4, 126, 127, 159

  Cardboard or pasteboard as hard as wood, how to make, 124, 125

  Carpenters’ cement, 79

  _Carton-cuir_, 121

  _Carton-pierre_, or “stone-paper,” to make, 128

  Caseine or cheese in cements, 6, 27, 40, 41, 137, 138

  CASTELLANI, Signore, 48

  Cat-gut, 250

  Cedar, to imitate, 83

  Cellular tissue, cause of hardening in organic substances, 9, 10

  Celluloid, or artificial ivory, its raw materials, manufacture, &c.,
      by Dr. F. BOCKMANN, 9, 152, 153

  Cellulose, 9;
    how discovered and made, 82;
    to prepare it with acid, 154

  Cement, or adhesive, definition, 1;
    for broken glass or china, 23-49;
    for glass, china, leather, &c., 34;
    for wood, 76-83;
    for horses’ hoofs, 166, 167;
    to attach metal, 173, 174

  Ceresa, or mosaic in powder, 29, 138

  Chalk, 2

  Chamois-leather in repairs, 203

  Chemical apparatus, cement for, 244

  Chestnut, horse, paste, 243

  China, broken, porcelain, crockery, majolica, terra-cotta, brick and
      tile work, 12-32

  Chinese transparent vases, a lost art rediscovered, 47, 48

  Chloride of zinc cement, 241

  Cholula, vase from, 13, 14

  Chrome glue, 26, 34

  _Chunam_, or Indian shell-lime, 24, 134

  Circles, to draw, 103

  Clamps, or strips of sheet-iron or wire, 67

  CLAUDE and VANDERVELDE, 216, 217

  CLAUS’S cement for metal and glass, 182

  Clay and molasses mortar, 246

  Closing wine-bottles, old method, 48, 49

  Cloth-dust on gum in decoration, 236

  Cloth, waterproofed, recipe for, 161;
    felt, how to make, 199, 200

  Clothes, to properly dust and keep clean, 252, 253

  Coarse cements for brick, &c., 139

  Cobbling and shoemaking, 187, 188

  Cologne, eau de, 237

  Concrete, 140

  Copal, gum, 157

  Coral, imitation of, 209

  Corks, to improve, 240

  Cracking of seasoned wood in America, 50

  Cracks in furniture, filling, 67


  Crockery, 17, 18

  Crockery or china, mosaic made from broken fragments, 139

  Cups and vases of _papier-maché_, how to make (_illustration_), 172

  DAVIDOWSKY, F., on glue and gelatine, 4

  Decayed wood, to restore, 63

  _Decorator, The_, 73

  Defacing books, 90

  DELILLE, alleged inventor of wiring porcelain, 18

  Deterioration in pictures, causes of, 214, 215

  Dextrine, or _Leiokom_, 7;
    gum, 238

  Diamond cement, 41. (_Vide_ Turkish)

  DILLAYE, F., 32

  DILLAYE’S cement, 249

  Dirt in old pictures, its nature, 215

  Domes or arched roofs, building, 64

  DRAKE, Sir W., 47

  Drawers, to put handles to, 62;
    shrinking of them, 62, 63

  Dry cleaning, 220


  Dusting broken china, 31

  Earthenware tubes, how to lute, 27

  Ebonite, 160

  Ebony, repairing or imitating, 66, 67

  EDER’S gum for photographs, 114

  Eggs in cements, 5

  “Egyptian Sketch-Book,” 210

  Elmworm silk, 250

  Embossing leather, 100

  Engraving and etching glass or china, 38

  Erasures in paper, 103

  Essential oils in cleaning pictures, 225

  Etruscan vases repaired, 15

  Excess of cleaning and ignorance as to effects by age, 214

  Fastening broken furniture, 60, 61

  Fictile or ceramic ware, 12

  FIELD, “Chromatography” 210

  Fillers for wood, 69

  Fire-proof paper, 103

  Floors laid with shavings, 53

  Flour and starch paste, 4, 5

  Flour-paste, to make a strong, 112

  Flowers made from wood-shavings and plaster of Paris, glue, &c., 68

  Fluid paste, 247

  Flour spar cement, 237

  Flux, vitreous or metallic, 17

  Forgeries in antiques, 94, 149

  French glue for wood, 80

  French glues, 248

  Furniture, cheap and bad, 58

  Furniture-making, 72


  Garments, invisible mending of, 202-205

  Gelatine and vinegar cement for china, 25

  General cements, 244

  GERNER, RAIMUND, _Die Glas Fabrikation_, by, 34, 35

  Gesso-painting, 24

  Glass-mending, with allied processes, 33-49;
    old proverb on, 33

  Glass-powder, 136;
    how to prepare, 27

  Glass, to pulverise, 234

  Glazed or patent leather, how to make, 193

  Glaze-mediums, 228

  Gloves, how cleaned, 238

  Glue, 4;
    and lime cement, 41;
    for coarse work, 235;
    waterproof, 186

  Glycerine, in cements, 6;
    with glue, 68

  _Gomme laque_, or shellac, 249

  GOUPIL, F., Manual of Mending, 32, 64, 218, 222, 225

  Grease-spots, to remove, 92

  GREEN, Dr. SAMUEL A., on book-worms, 115

  Grinding off fractures in glass, 48

  Ground for wax-painting, 228, 229

  Grounds of pictures, 221

  Guards for mending broken fictile wares, 31, 32

  Gum for general use, 243

  Gum-mastic, 16, 22

  Gum (or starch), 2, 3

  Gutta-percha and oil cement for mending soles, 192

  Gutta-percha cement for leather, 189

  Gypsum, 6

  Hard cement for all wood, 80

  Harness, saddle, and bridle repairing, 193

  Hats, blankets, &c., to mend by felting, 199-201

  Heating wood before glueing, 60

  HEIGELIN, Professor, exhibition of flowers made from shavings, 68

  Hide, raw, 189

  HILDEBRAND, WOLFGANG, on liquid glass, 7, 35, 148


  HOFER, RAIMUND, on indiarubber, 159, 168

  Holding together broken china while mending, &c., 17

  Holes in leather repaired with linen, 161

  Horn, to mould or soften, 148, 251

  HUBBARD, ERNST, “The rendering Valuable of Refuse Wood,” by, 69

  HYATT’S patent ivory, 153

  Hydraulic lime, 8

  Ignorance, general, as to cleaning pictures, 212

  Imitation indiarubber cloth, 167

  Imperfect work, 107, 108

  Indiarubber, applied to soles of shoes, 161;
    or vulcanised cement, 162

  Indifferent substances, 6

  Ink-stains, to remove, 90-94, 96

  Inserting pieces in china, &c., 19, 20

  Iron cements to resist heat, 177, 178

  Iron doors of furnaces, how to seal hermetically, 179

  Iron in cements, 6

  Iron strips and bands in repairing, 171

  Iron, to set in stone, 178

  Iron ware, or block cement, 180

  Ironwork, setting a cement for, 176

  Italian peasants’ shoes (_illustration_), 192

  Ivory, repairing and imitating, 143-155;
    cleaning, 143, 144;
    imitations, 144;
    staining, 147, 148;
    softening, 148

  Jewellers’ cement, 43. (_Vide_ Turkish)

  Jewellers’ or Diamond cement, 174

  Jewesses, repair of embroidery by, 202

  _Joco-Seriorum Naturæ et Artis_,
    1670, story from, referring to broken pottery, 20, 21, 35.

  Join, to, glass and metal, 43

  Joints in timbers, holes and cracks, how to close, 80

  JUNEMANN, F., _Die Fabrikation des Alauns_, 6

  Kaleidoscope, folding, how to make a, 37, 38

  Kauri, the gum, 156, 157

  Kelp, 154

  _Kettenstich_, for German chain-stitch, 204


  Knotting, patent, 72-74

  KOPPE, J. W., on glycerine, 6

  KRALL, BARKENTIN &, brass-cleaner, 235

  KRATZER, HARRMANN, on liquid glass, 8

  Lacquers, 34


  Lead pencil or crayon drawings, to protect, 233

  Leather, artificial, 196, 198

  Leather, durability of, 188, 189

  Leather-glue, 197

  Leather-Work, Manual of, 111

  Leather-work, repairing, 183-198

  LEHNER, 2, 5, 7, 9, 26, 28, 29, 31, 34, 40, 44, 77, 79, 80, 135, 136,
      141, 144, 152, 157, 193, 197, 207, 208

  LELAND, CHARLES G., quotation from, 50

  Lemon-juice to whiten the hands, 236

  Lime, 5, 24, 134

  Lime cement for glass, 43

  Liquid acid glue, 59, 60;
    recipe for, 81

    MS. of Recipes, 65

  Litharge cements for many uses, 175


  Luting cement, 235

  Luting or closing chemical apparatus, &c., cements for, 30

  Magnesia, calcined, to extract stains, 238

  Majolica, 13, 15, 16

  Malleable glass, 38

  _Manuel Général du Modelage_, 64

  Marble, fractures, &c., in, 140;
    how to clean, 238;
    to mend, 249

  Marine glue, hard glue, recipe and description, 162, 163

  Marking-ink, 237

  Marquetry, or inlaid wood, repairing, 71, 72, 83-85

  Mastic, 19, 135, 136;
    French mastic, 136

  Materials used in mending, 1-11

  Meerschaum pipes, to mend or make, 240

  Mending cloth with indiarubber, 165-168

  Mending furniture, 74-76

  Mending or repairing defined, 1, 2

  MERRICK’S acid-proof cement, 246

  MERRITT, HENRY, 211, 221

  Metal, to attach leather to, 193

  Metal-work, mending, 169-182

  Metallic corners for books (_illustrations_), 104-106

  Mica, leaves of, how to prepare them for windows, 47

  MIERZINSKI, Dr. STANISLAUS, on the manufacture of paper, 132

  Minor ingredients in cements, 10

  Mirror with ornaments (_illustration_), 85

  MOGFORD, HENRY, 213, 218, 219-222

  Mosaics, 134

  Mother-of-pearl and coral, mending, 206-209;
    how imitated, 207;
    from rice, 208

  Mould or mildew in pictures, 226

  Mouth-glue, or solid cement, 239, 240

  Musical glasses of different kinds, 39

  Musical instruments repaired with shavings, 54, 55

  Neutral substances in cements, 6

  Oil, as a basis, 2;
    combination, 3;
    softening paint, 219

  Old recipes for mending crockery, 23 _et seq._


  “One Hundred Arts,” a book by the Author, 38

  Ornamenting panes for windows, and doubling them, 44 45;
    beautiful and varied effects, 46

  Ornamental work made of shavings, 56, 57

  Ox-gall in cleaning pictures, 218

  Oxidised cement, 176

  PAGE, the American painter, 210

  Pages in books, to repair when torn, 90, 91, 94

  PAGET’S French mastic, 136

  Pamphlets, binding, 100

  Panel pictures, repairing, with shavings, 57;
    fourteenth century, in distemper, &c., 227

  Panel, warped, how to straighten a, 228

  Panels of artificial wood, 81;
    cements for, 82

  Paper and wood-shavings, 52

  Paper, its composition, 86, 87;
    repairing damaged paper, 86, 87

  Paper-leather, 129, 130

  _Papier-mâché_, or softened paper, 106, 121-133;
    articles made from, 121;
    moulding, 121, 122


  Parchment paper, how to prepare, 95, 96

  Parchment, repairing, 122;
    artificial, from paper, 122

  PARLAND, Mr., 128

  Paste of starch or flour, 10

  Paste, leather, the same mixed with indiarubber, 185;
    use and preparation, &c., 186

  Paste, bookbinders’, 96;
    shoemakers’, 197

  Patches, inserting, 201

  Patterns cut from wood-shavings (_engraving_), 51-53

  Pavements, to repair different kinds, 28

  Peat, 78

  PHILATIUS, the inventor of book-binding and glue, 99

  Pictures, restoring, 210-230;
    glazed and scaling, how to treat, 226

  Plaster of Paris, alum, and glass cement, 141

  Plugging teeth with indiarubber, 166

  Polytechnic cement and imperial liquid glue, also KEYE’S cement, 39

  Porcelain, 18

  Potatoes as cement, &c., 9

  Pots, cracks in iron, 180

  Prepare, to, wood for paint, 83

  Process of restoring worn and injured binding of a book, and of a
      bas-relief in leather, 183-185

  Proper paste, the, for wallpaper, waterproof, 164, 165

  Pulp, paper, 130-133

  Putty, 33, 34, 69

  RAUFER, G. M., on meerschaum and amber, 158

  Raw hide, 233

  Recipe, old, for repairing glass, 36, 37;
    definition of, 231;
    general, 231-253

  Red cement for iron, 237

  Reliefs cut in brick, 29

  Repainting old pictures, 226, 227

  Repairing wood with paper-pulp, 132

  Resin or pitch, 2, 3

  Restoring fragments of engravings, &c., 115

  Rice and lime cement, 145

  RIMMEL, bookseller in Oxford Street, 40

  Ringing or sounding glasses by blowing on them, 39

  RIS-PACQUOT, M., 18, 29, 147

  Riveting sheet-metal, 169, 170

  Roller, use of the, 54

  Roman and Hungarian pottery, &c., 12

  Roman cement, 24;
    for fine mosaics, 138

  Rosewood stain, 74

  Rubbing in colour, 14

  RUPRECHT, KARL, on egg substances and albumen, 5

  RUSKIN, 221

  Rust, how removed, 234

  Rust or oxide cement, 177

  SALLE’S cement for glass, 44

  Satin gloss for paper, 248, 249

  Sawdust (_vide_ also Wood-paste or artificial wood), 80

  SCHEIBLER’S cement, 244

  SCHLOSSER, EDMUND, on soldering and metal-work, 182

  SCHWARTZ’S iron cement, 180

  Scissors, cutting glass with, 48

  Scraping varnish, 223

  Screws, to be dipped in oil or boiling wax, 67

  Seams, to repair, 196

  SEDNA, LUDWIG, on wax, &c., 7

  Sewing or stitching books, 109

  Shoes, easily made, 194, 195;
    indiarubber, to repair, 160

  Side-binding, 110

  Silicate of soda, or liquid glass, 7, 20;
    with colour, 29, 33, 35

  Silico-enamel, 237, 238

  Silk or woolen cloth, to clean, 232, 233

  Silks, black, gummed, 205

  Silkworm gum, 250

  Silver bands, 20

  Snail cement, 249

  Soaps in cleaning pictures, 224

  Solder, NEWTON’S and ROSE’S, a metallic glass, 181

  Soldering, 171, 172, 180, 181

  Soles, wooden, for shoes, 191

  SOREL’S cement, 244

  South Sea Bubble, 58

  Spirits of wine to remove dry varnish, 219

  Splicing broken rods, spars, &c. (_with illustration_), 61

  Spraying, to restore crumbling substances by, 146, 147

  Staining or colouring wood, 69, 70

  Stains, grease, wine, oil, to remove, 232

  Stationer’s paste, 247

  Statues, mending, of plaster of Paris, 141

  Steam, to clean pictures by, 223

  STEVENS’ and MANDERS’ wood-stains, 70

  Stills, to lute, 245

  STOHMANN, classification of cements, with LEHNER’S extension of it, 2, 3

  Stonework, mending, 134-142

  Stopper, glass, filed to shape, 48

  Stoves, cement for, 179, 182

  Strips or braces on panels, &c., 61, 62

  Strong adhesives for paper, &c., 113, 114

  Strong cement, for glass, wood, or stone, 42;
    for porcelain, glass, &c., 26, 136

  Strop, leather, how to mend a, 186, 187

  Sturgeon’s bladder or fish-glue gum, &c., 5, 32, 42

  Syndetikon, 243

  Tapestry glue, 245

  Tarred or tarpaulin paper-bags, 163

  _Tausendkünstler_ of 1782, 23

  Tea-leaves, 243

  Terra-cotta, 12, 13, 15

  To preserve the contents of bottles when broken, 167

  To protect wood under water, 79

  Tortoise-shell or horn, cement for, 250

  Toys, mending, 122, 123

  Tragacanth, gum, 8

  Transferring pictures, 225

  Travellers’ glue, 247

  Trees: bark, splits or cavities in, 82;
    to protect, 248

  Triangles of tin, &c., used to fasten panes of glass, 35

  _Tribune_, the New York, 60

  Trunks, mending, 190

  Tufa cement, 235

  Turkish or diamond cement, 19, 41, 42

  Turpentine, a counteracting medium of solvent spirit, 220

  ULENHUTH, EDUARD, on moulding, 131

  VANDYKE, picture by, 222

  VAN HELMONT on liquid glass, 7

  Varnish, 3, 34;
    to remove, 216-220

  Veneers, 51, 53

  Venetian marquetry, 71

  Venetian glass, 36

  _Venus mercernaria_, or American clam, 208

  Vermin in wooden dwellings, 246


  Vinegar, commonly made from sulphuric acid, 60

  Vitreous paint, 40

  WAGNER, R., on liquid glass, 7, 8, 35

  WALLBERGER, JOHANN, _Zauberbuch_, 96, 234-236

  Wall-paper of wood, used in America, 69

  Wall-paper paste, 245

  Wall-paper with common paste poisonous, 165

  Walls rendered air-tight (recipe), 164

  Warped or curved wood, and how to flatten it, 61, 62

  Washing broken china for repairing, 31

  Water in cleaning pictures, 216-218

  Waterproof carpets and wall-covering made from waste-paper, 191

  Waterproof cement, 194

  Wax in cements, 7

  White of egg glaze, 223

  Whitewash, to make equal to paint, 79

  WIEGLEB, J. C., quotation from, 1, 147

  Windows, stained glass, works on the subject by A. W. FRANKS, OWEN
     JONES, WESTLAKE, &c., 40

  Wine-stains, to remove, 231, 232

  Wire, for mending china, 19;
    in repairing, 170, 171

  Wire-mending, 62

  Wood-ashes in picture-cleaning, 224

  Wood-Carving, a Manual of, by CHARLES GODFREY LELAND, 70

  Wood-paste, or artificial wood, 63 _et seq._;
    houses can be made of it, 64

  Wood-shavings in mending and making, 50-57

  Woodwork, repairing, 58-85

  Woollen cloth, to clean, 231

  _Work_, a scientific journal, 129

  Worms in wood, to exterminate, 72

  Wrinkles and freckles, 236

  _Zeiodeleth_, 246, 247

  Zinc, a cement for, 174, 175

  ZWICK, Dr. H., on lime and mortar, 5;
    in _Hydraulischer Kalk und Portland Cement_, 8



[1] _Ceresa_ is the setting of powdered glass of different colours in a
cement bed. Mosaic cubes are often combined with it.

[2] _Vide_ “Wood-Carving,” by CHARLES GODFREY LELAND, F.R.L.S., M.A.
(London, Whittaker & Co., 5s.), for a chapter on this subject.

[3] For fullest details as to the treatment of horn, the reader may
consult _Die Verarbeitung des Hornes_, &c., by LOUIS E. ANDÉS, in which
he will also find full details as to dyeing ivory.

[4] The late W. W. STORY, the sculptor and man of letters.

[5] “Handbook on the Preservation of Pictures,” by HENRY MOGFORD;
twelfth edition, revised. London: Winsor & Newton, 1s.

[Transcriber’s Note:

Obvious printer errors corrected silently.

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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