Home Veterinary Remedies, as Recommended by 19th and 20th Century Vets and Animal Doctors!
Courtesy of www.VeterinaryAdviceAndInformation.com


The Peoples Horse, Cattle, Sheep and Swine book


The Farmers Practical Guide


and please share with your online friends.

GLASS—SILVER­WARE—BRONZES.                                            43



Among the Orientals.................    48

Florentine Schools, the...............    48

French Bronzes, the.................    48

Roman Method, the..................   48

Statue of Marcus Aurelius...........    48

Their Constituents...................    48

Vendome Column, the...............   48


Antiquity, its........................    44

Decorative Table Glass...............    45

Exquisite Ware To­day..............    46

First Glass Houses...................    44

Imitation of Antique Glass..........     45

Prince Rupert Drops.................    43

Properties of Glass..................    43

The Art under Nero..................   44

Venice becomes its seat..............    45


America Goes ahead.................    46

American Export Trade..............    47

Improved Machinery.................    47

Silver-Plating........................    46

Solid Silver..........................    47


Some Properties of Glass.—Glass has properties
peculiarly its own. It is of no greater bulk when
hot, or in the melted state, than when cold.
Some writers state that it is of greater bulk when
cold than when hot. It is transparent in itself;
though the materials of which it is composed are
opaque. It is not malleable, but in ductility
ranks next to gold. Its flexibility, also, is so
great that when hot it can be drawn out, like
elastic thread, miles in length, in a moment, and
to a minuteness equal to that of the silk­worm.
Brittle, also, to a proverb, it is so elastic that it
can be blown to a gauze-like thinness, so as
easily to float upon the air. The elasticity is
also shown by the fact that a globe hermetically
sealed, if dropped upon a polished anvil, will re­
coil two thirds the distance of its fall, and re­
main entire until the second or third rebound.
(The force with which solid balls strike each
other may be estimated at ten, and the reaction
by reason of the elastic property at nine.) Ves­
sels called bursting glasses are made of sufficient
strength to be drawn about a floor; a bullet may
be dropped into one without fracture of the
glass; even the stroke of a mallet sufficiently
heavy to drive a nail has failed to break such
glasses. In a word, ordinary blows fail to pro­
duce an impression upon articles of this kind.
If, however, a piece of flint, cornelian, diamond,
or other hard stone, fall into one of these glasses
or be shaken therein a little while, the vessel will
fly into a myriad of pieces.

Prince Rupert Drops.—Glass of the class called
Prince Rupert drops exhibits another striking
property. Let the small point be broken, and
the whole flies with a shock into powder. Wri­
ters have endeavored to solve the philosophy of
this phenomenon; some by attributing it to per­
cussion putting in motion some subtile fluid with
which the essential substance of glass is perme­
ated, and thus overcoming the attraction of co­
hesion. Some denominate the fluid electricity,
and assert that it exists in glass in great quanti­
ties, and is capable of breaking glass when well
annealed, These writers do not appear to have

formed any conclusion satisfactory to themselves,
and fail to afford a well-defined solution to the

Other Properties.—Glass is used for pendulums,
as not being subject to affections from heat or
cold. It is, as is well known, a non-conductor.
No metallic condenser possesses equal power
with one of glass. In summer, when moisture
fails to collect on a metallic surface, open glass
will gather it on the exterior; the slightest
breath of air bringing moisture upon the glass.
Dew will affect the surface of glass, while it has
no apparent result on other surfaces.

The properties of so-called “ musical glasses”
are strikingly singular. Glass bowls partly filled
with water, in various quantities, will emit mu­
sical sounds, varying with the thickness of their
edges or lips. When rubbed, too, with a wet
finger, gently, the water in the glass is plainly
seen to tremble and vibrate.

Bells manufactured of glass have been found
the clearest and most sonorous ; the vibration of
sound extending to a greater degree than from
metallic bells.

Glass resists the action of all acids except the
“ fluoric.” It loses nothing in weight by. use or
age. It is the most capable of all substances
of receiving the highest degree of polish. If
melted seven times over and properly cooled in
the furnace, it will receive a polish rivaling al­
most the diamond in brilliancy. It is capable of
receiving the richest colors procured from gold
or other metallic coloring, and will retain the
original brilliancy of hue for ages. Medals, too,
imbedded in glass can be made to retain forever
their original purity and appearance.

Another singular property of glass is shown in
the fact that when the furnace, as the workmen
term it, is settled, the metal is perfectly plain
and clear; but if by accident the metal becomes
too cool to work, and the furnace heat is required
to be raised, the glass, which had before re­
mained in the open pots perfectly calm and plain,
immediately becomes agitated or boiling. The
glass rises in a mass of spongy matter and bub­
bles, and is rendered worthless. A change is,
however, immediately effected by throwing a

44                                                      THE FRIEND OF ALL.

tumbler of water upon the metal, when the agita­
tion ceases and the glass assumes its original
quiet and clearness.

Its Antiquity.No writer upon the subject of
glass manufacture has shown anything decisive
as to the precise period of its invention. Some
suppose it to have been invented before the
flood; others trace its antiquity to the yet unde-
termined time of Job.

It seems clear, however, that the art was
known to the Egyptians 3500 years ago; for
records handed down to us in the form of paint­
ings, hieroglyphics, etc., demonstrate its exist­
ence in the reign of the first Usurtesen ; and ex­
isting relics in glass, taken from the ruins of
Thebes, with hieroglyphical data, clearly place
its antiquity at a point fifteen centuries before

Layard, in his discoveries among the ruins of
Nineveh and Babylon, says : “ In this chamber
were found two entire glass bowls, with fragments
of others. The glass, like all others that come
from the ruins, is covered with pearly scales,
which, on being removed, leave prismatic, opal-
like colors of the greatest brilliancy, showing, un­
der different lights, the most varied tints. This
is a well-known effect of age, arising from the
decomposition of certain component parts of the
glass. These bowls are probably of the same
period as the small bottle found in the ruins of
the northwest palace during the previous exca­
vations, and now in the British Museum. On
this highly interesting relic is the name of Sar-
gon, with his title of King of Assyria in cunei­
form characters, and the figure of a lion. We
are therefore able to fix its date at the latter part
of the seventh century B.C. It is consequently
the most ancient known specimen of transparent

Other writers believe that glass was in more
general use in the ancient than in comparatively
modern times, and affirm that among the Egyp­
tians it was used even as material for coffins.
It is certainly true, so well did the Egyptians
understand the art, that they excelled in the
imitation of precious stones, and were well ac­
quainted with the metallic oxides used in color­
ing glass; and the specimens of their skill, still
preserved in the British Museum, and in private
collections, prove the great skill and ingenuity
of their workmen in mosaic similar in appear­
ance to the modern paper-weights. Among the
specimens of Egyptian glass still existing is a
fragment representing a lion in bas-relief, well
executed and anatomically correct. Other
specimens are found inscribed with Arabic cha­

All writers agree that the glass-houses in Alex­
andria, in Egypt, were highly celebrated for the

ingenuity and skill of their workmen, and the ex­
tent of their manufactures.

Strabo relates that the Emperor Hadrian re­
ceived from an Egyptian priest a number of
glass cups in mosaic, sparkling with every color,
and deemed of such rare value that they were
used only on great festivals.

The tombs at Thebes, the ruins of Pompeii
and Herculaneum, and the remains of the villa
of the Emperor Tiberius, go not only inciden­
tally to establish the antiquity of the art, but also
prove the exquisite taste and skill of the artists
of their various periods.

First Glass-Houses.The first glass-houses, well
authenticated, were erected in the city of Tyre.
Modern writers upon the subject generally refer
to Pliny as establishing the fact that the Pheni-
cians were the inventors of the art of glass-mak­
ing. The tradition is that the art was originally
brought to light under the following circum­
stances. A vessel being driven by a storm to
take shelter at the mouth of the river Belus, the
crew were obliged to remain there some length
of time. In the process of cooking, a fire was
made upon the ground, whereon was abundance
of the herb “ kale.” That plant burning to ashes,
the saline properties became incorporated with
the sand. This causing vitrification, the com­
pound now called glass was the result. The fact
becoming known, the inhabitants of Tyre and
Sidon essayed the work, and brought the new in­
vention into practical use. This is the tradition :
but modern science demonstrates the false phi­
losophy, if not the incorrectness, of Pliny's ac­
count ; and modern manufacturers will readily
detect the error, from the impossibility of melt­
ing silex and soda by the amount of heat neces­
sary for ordinary boiling purposes.

From Tyre and Sidon the art was transferred
to Rome. Pliny states that it flourished most
extensively during the reign of Tiberius, entire
streets of the city being then occupied by the
glass manufactories. From the period of Tibe­
rius the progress of the art seems more definite
and marked, both as relates to quantity and mode
of manufacture.

The Art under Nero.It was during the reign of
Nero, so far as we can discover, that the first per­
fectly clear glass resembling crystal was manu­
factured. Pliny states that Nero, for two cups
of ordinary size, with handles, gave six thousand
sestertia, equal in our currency to about two hun­
dred and fifty thousand dollars; and that rich arti­
cles of glass were in such general use among the
wealthy Romans as almost to supersede articles of
gold and silver. The art, however, at that period
seems to have been entirely devoted to articles
of luxury, and, from the great price paid, sup­
ported many establishments—all, however, evi-

GLASS—SILVER­WARE­—BRONZES.                                            45

dently upon a comparatively small scale, and
confined, as it would appear, to families.

Up to this period no evidence appears that
any other than colored articles in glassware were
made. It is clear, too, that the furnaces and melt­
ing-pots then in use were of very limited capacity,
the latter being of crucible shape; and it was not
until the time of Nero that the discovery was
made that muffled crucibles or pots, as at the
present day, were required to make crystal glass.
(Without them, it is well known, crystal glass
cannot be perfected.) It appears, further, that a
definite street in the city of Rome was assigned
to the manufacturers of this article, and that in
the reign of Severus they had attained such a
position, and accumulated wealth to such a de­
gree, that a formal tax was levied upon them.
Some writers take the ground that this assess­
ment was the primary cause of the transfer of
the manufacture to other places.

That the peculiar property of the manufacture
at this period was its clear and crystal appear­
ance is abundantly evident; and this, and the
great degree of perfection to which the manufac­
ture of white or crystal-like glass was carried,
are by many writers thought to have been proved
from classical sources—Horace and Virgil both
referring to it: the one speaking of its beautiful
luster and brilliancy, the other comparing it to
the clearness of the waters of the Fucine Lake.

Venice becomes its Seat The decline of this art
in Rome is clearly defined by various writers,
and its gradual introduction into Bohemia and
Venice is plainly marked out. At this latter
place the art flourished to a remarkable degree,
and, being marked by constant progress and im­
provement, enabled Venice to supply the world
without a rival, and with the beautiful manufac­
ture called “Venice drinking-cups.” The beauty
and value of these are abundantly testified to by
many authors, among whom is Holinshed. The
manufacture of these and similar articles were
located, as stated in the “Chronicles,"at Murano,
a place about one mile from the city, where the
business assumed a high position among the arts.
And from thence we are enabled to date its future
progress and gradual introduction into Europe,
Germany, England, and the western world.

It is not strange that the strict secrecy with
which the business was conducted in these times
should have invested the art with an air of ro­
mance; and legends, probably invented for the
purpose, created a great deal of wonder among
the uninitiated. The government of Venice also
added by its course to the popular notions re­
garding the high mystery of the art, conferring
as it did the title of “gentleman” (no idle title in
those days) on all who became accomplished in
the manufacture. That the art had greatly im­

proved in the hands of the Venetian artisans
cannot be doubted. The manufacture was car­
ried to a degree far beyond any previous period ;
and the more so because sustained by govern­
mental protection and patronage. Venice being
then in the height of her commercial glory, the
“ Queen of the Sea,” ample facilities existed for
the exportation of her manufactures to every
part of the known world ; and for a long period
she held the monopoly of supplying the cities of
Europe with crystal glass in its various depart­
ments of ornament and utility.

Decorated Table-Glass.If anything can recon­
cile the possessors of small incomes to the fact
that certain luxuries are entirely out of their
reach, it may well be found in the care their pos­
session entails. Take for example the costly
glass and porcelain, the fragile vases and tea-
ware, which call for so much care upon the part
of those whose business it is to look after them.
It is bewildering to consider how many varieties
of table-glass there are—Bohemian, Hungarian,
English, American, to say nothing of polished,
crystal, engraved, colored and painted glass.

What a value the world sets upon table-glass
may be gathered from the fact that a French
writer estimates that at the present time over
1oo,ooo,ooof. are expended in it yearly, and a
glance at the large glassware stores in New York
is sufficient evidence of the demand among our­
selves. Rarely have more beautiful specimens
of foreign and domestic manufacture been seen.
They may vie with those sent to special exhibi­
tions as evidence of national progress in the art.
The most noticeable feature, perhaps, of the
trade, as regards this country, is the fact that
so great is the demand that glass of every variety
is imported here in a crude condition and finished
by polishing, engraving or cutting by foreign
artists in glass resident here.

Great interest attaches to the many varieties
now in fashion. Among them choice Venetian,
Bohemian and Hungarian ware are most notice­
able. From Italy, as all the world knows, the
secret of perfecting table-glass came. How it
found its way to other countries is lost in con­
jecture, and to­day the artist in glass at Murano
will reproduce any old specimens of antique
Venetian glass that may be set before him.
Most of the filigree glass, which is so very beau­
tiful, is a revival of an old Italian art. Small
filigree canes of white and colored enamels are
drawn off the required length, arranged in clus­
ters in a cylindrical mold of the desired shape,
and then fused together by heat. In this way
glass of every kind is decorated. An eye-witness
describes the method by which the antique spe­
cimens of Venetian glass are imitated.

imitation of Antique Glass.Suppose a wine­



glass to have been selected, with deep bowl, ini­
tial stem, and broad, ruby­ tinted foot—such a
one as a connoisseur would deeply prize. The
artisan who undertakes to copy it proceeds as
follows : Dipping a hollow iron rod into a pot of
molten white glass he catches up a lump, rolls it
on an iron slab, pops it into a furnace, blows
through his rod, and tosses it aloft, when a hol­
low tube appears. Then, with a rod of metal in
which melted glass is twisted, he, quick as light­
ning, forms the initials as on the original. The
foot is next as rapidly formed of white glass,
and with a scrap of molten ruby glass,
which the artisan blows to a hair and
binds around and around the rim of the bowl
and of the foot, the transaction is completed,
saving for the burning, which will continue in a
moderately heated oven till the morning. Cut
glass is becoming as fashionable in this country
as any of the colored or filigree wares, and its
manufacture is now successfully carried on here
to such an extent that American cut glass can
compete with that of long-established foreign

Exquisite Ware To­day.Among the most beauti­
ful specimens of table-glass found to­day, that
from Hungary is as valuable as any. Exquisite
in form as well as in color, it is essentially deco­
rative. Moreover, many of the designs are quite
novel, and are specially made to suit the taste
of the American buyer. The latest for finger-
glasses is in square shape, the edges rolled back
and finished in gilding; flat saucers accompany
these fragile bowls. Champagne-pitchers, too,
come from Hungary and Vienna, and frosted ice-
pitchers, more beautiful even than those of po­
lished or enameled surface, are seen on wealthy
tables. Exquisite Bohemian glass is enameled
in gold and silver, and by a recent invention the
design wrought in gold or silver is incorporated
with the glass itself, and thus not only decorates
the surface but radiates through it. Many of
the most beautiful services of glass are decorated
in raised medallions; others are engraved in half-
relief, and a set of rare glasses will carry out a
legend or story, each glass containing one scene
or act. Punch­bowls of deeply cut crystal are
exceedingly handsome, and probably no center­
pieces or flowers have ever been as popular as
those now prevalent of deeply cut crystal, every
knob of an intricate design, flashing with light.
Lusters of cut glass too are found upon the mo­
dern dinner-table, a revival of an old fashion which
adds greatly to the effect, and candelabra, with
cut crystal pendants, twinkle and glitter in the
artificial light. Glasses of different color figure
upon well-appointed tables, indicating to the ini­
tiated what wines and liquors may be expected.
Liquor bottles and glasses are of the most deli­

cate Bohemian or Hungarian ware, while even
for less luxurious occasions modern table-glass
shines with polish and enamel and reflects in de­
licately cut flutings the artistic ambition of the
day. A table laid in accordance with the dic­
tates of fashion may well vie with anything that
the past has produced, and it would be scarcely
possible for a royal household in Europe to ex­
hibit rarer or more beautiful specimens of table-
glass than may be found in wealthy mansions in
this country. Exorbitant prices have been paid
for such—$1ooo for a single center­piece in an­
tique Venetian glass, $7000 for a set of antique
wine-glasses, to say nothing of sums asked and
paid for odd glass dishes and bowls. Finger-
glasses to­day are of colored glass, translucent
blue or delicate green or amber, unless, as in
some instances, cut, gilded or enameled varieties
are preferred. The old-fashioned goblet has fol­
lowed the tankard, and appears no more in our
midst; but in many an English home the host
will have a goblet, “high in stature, fair in
make,” for himself, an honorable token of his
standing, which has been handed down for many


America goes ahead.The extent to which art­
work in gold and silver has developed in this
country within the last ten or a dozen years is
but little known or appreciated outside the trade,
although the results of this artistic and commer­
cial growth are to be seen in almost every house­

Silver-Plating.Years ago the market for silver-
plated ware in this country was held by the goods
manufactured in Sheffield, England. They were
sold as the highest grade of goods, and were put
forth by the dealers as something which could
scarcely be approached by domestic manufactur­
ers. Their quality was good, but the styles were
limited to a few designs, and their prices were
too high to admit of their general use. Then
came the every­day ware of our large manufac­
turers, which was sold at popular prices, and
went all over the country, even into the back­
woods. The cheapness of the American makes
enabled the buyers to get new styles as soon as
the articles began to wear out, and thus a taste
for novelty in designs was stimulated. Taking
advantage of this, and constantly improving
their work, the American manufacturers made
no efforts to obtain “ protection” against their
Sheffield rivals by means of tariff exactions, but
depended on outstripping them by superior en­
terprise. As a result the Sheffield ware is now
scarcely to be found in this market—its designs
being so few and so uncouth, in comparison with
the American, that our buyers will not look at



them. The American people have been edu­
cated by the native manufacturers to a higher
degree of taste in silver art­work, and all of the
best designs in sterling metal are closely copied
in the plated articles. The latter, as a rule, are
plated upon soft metal, costing only about one
fourth as much as the English hard-metal ware,
and therefore can be replaced by new patterns at
least once in ten years. Only one American
firm makes hard-metal plate, which will last a
lifetime, and is largely used for communion-ser­
vices. It is especially suitable for that purpose,
as solid silver in churches is always exposed to
the danger of theft. The enterprise of the
American makers is indicated by the fact that a
single manufacturing company has at one time
spent $30,000 in publishing volumes of illustra­
tions of its series of designs in plated ware alone.
The efforts of such firms have placed in the pos­
session of nearly all classes of our people the
forms of art­work in metal which in Europe are
confined to the wealthy and privileged few.
Even workingmen here eat with silver-plated
forks, while men of the same social grade in Eu­
rope never saw such articles unless in a jeweler‘s

Solid Silver.In solid silver­ware the improve­
ment and success of the American manufacturers
have been as marked as in plated goods. At
one time coin silver was much used for table-
services, but the large proportion of alloy in
American coin gave rise to still further debase­
ments. An instance is recorded of a maker who
stamped his productions “coin silver, with but
one per cent alloy,” and who was proved to have
used one of the old-fashioned large “coppers”
with every ninety-nine cents in silver. Trickery
of this sort could not withstand exposures by
honest manufacturers and the demand of intelli­
gent buyers for genuine goods. All American
solid silver is now made of sterling fineness,
equal in quality to the English hall-marked
plate. In the manufacture of some special
pieces, such as great silver vases and trophies,
for prizes or memorials, the English and French
silversmiths remain unexcelled, but in silver­ware
for daily use the American makers surpass all
others in the beauty and variety of their designs.
Their service in educating the taste for art
among the people of this country has been of
the most important character. A few years ago
one manufacturing company reproduced the
masterpieces of Benvenuto Cellini in trays and
tea-sets. The Russian silver­ware has been co­
pied, and its damask work excelled. The Chi­
nese and Japanese styles of ornamentation have
been imitated in their most grotesque effects, but
this tendency to gratify a popular whim for mon­
strosities is declining, and in general our makers

show but little disposition to stray from the
! principles of classic art. Most of the American
designs are original, when not copies of the tri-
umphs of the old master-craftsmen. Remarka­
bly fine effects are produced in engraving and
chasing, and also by hammer-finish, although
the exquisite leather-finish is taking the place of
the latter. A novel style, just introduced, is the
border ornamentation of silver by very pretty
little rustic scenes and figures, illustrating fami­
liar nursery-songs.

Improved Machinery.The American manufac­
turers have introduced methods of simplifying
and expediting work by the use of machinery,
employing handwork for all the processes of
finishing. They draw the best workmen from
Europe by paying the highest wages, and they
also in the large establishments educate young
Americans to a wonderful degree of skill in
special branches of designing and the production
of mechanical effects. In one well-known house
the task of producing a certain new and beautiful
effect in silver was assigned to an American
youth, and the old English and French workmen
there laughed at the idea, saying that the attempt
had repeatedly been made in Europe without
success. The young workman locked himself in
his room and studied, and the result was his
complete triumph over the difficulty which had
so long baffled silversmiths. So great is the
aptitude shown by the best American workmen
that persons familiar with it express a strong
desire for the establishment of art-schools here,
such as are maintained in Europe, in order that
native talents may be developed under the most
[ favorable circumstances. It is suggested that
I our leading manufacturers would do well to offer
I prizes for designs by their workmen, and thus
give a stimulus to artistic ambition which would
still further elevate the standard of the trade.

American Export Trade.American silver­ware
is now exported in considerable quantities to
Australia and the various countries of South
America, and only the hall-mark restrictions in
England prevent its finding an extensive market
there. The hall-mark stamped on all plate in
England by the goldsmiths’ companies as a
guarantee of its quality is a collateral assurance
of its fineness, but not an absolute safeguard, as
various tricks are resorted to in order to evade the
law. American makers, having a ready market
here, cannot afford to incur the trouble and the
detention of their goods by the assayers and
markers which are preliminary to sales in Eng­
land. Besides this, the silver is often mutilated
in the marking, and in some cases has been sent
back here to be refinished. The hall-mark sys­
tem would be impracticable in this country,
where, in the city of Newark alone, a hundred



thousand different pieces of jewelry are manu­
factured every day. The amount of labor and
time which would be required for testing and
marking all the gold and silver articles produced I
here can scarcely be imagined. It is said, how­
ever, that a law of Congress is needed, establish­
ing a standard for wrought gold, the same as for
weights and measures, so that goods stamped
" fourteen carats " shall be fourteen carats fine,
and not ten. Such a law, it is argued, would not
only tend to protect the buyer, but would be of
great benefit to respectable manufacturers, who
are now exposed to dishonest competition.


Their Constituents.—What is known as bronze is,
of course, a compound of copper and tin; and
yet this is not an exact definition, for the bronze
of art contains also an admixture of zinc and lead,
rendering it at once harder and more fusible than
copper itself, and, more curiously still, more mal­
leable. Its remarkable durability, the fineness of
its grain, its resistance to moisture, its fusibility,
and that “ fluidity” which enables it to be stamped
by an impression of the most delicate forms and
patterns, constitute it the sister in art, as it were,
of marble. To the ancients it was invaluable.
They applied it to the uses to which are now
applied iron, steel and brass. In our times, how­
ever, it is chiefly devoted to the fabrication of
cannon, coin, clocks, cymbals, bells and the in­
ferior constructions of telescopes ; and, in appli­
cation to each and all of these, the alloy requires
to be different. For art purposes from seven to
ten per cent of tin and copper is the prescribed
proportion, although the ancients used more,
while the famous founders of Corinth threw in,
often, a mixture of silver, and even gold, and
were imitated by the master-workmen of the
Renaissance. In the seventeenth century the
brothers Keller, who attached to the mere com­
position of bronze an importance which their
less intelligent rivals discarded, used, in the
ctatues they cast for Versailles, a strong mingling
of zinc and lead, precisely similar to that which
the Chinese employ in the fabrication of their
metal drum­heads. Since then the art has much
degenerated, however. It has ceased to be an
exclusive enjoyment of the rich. Luxury in
France, as elsewhere, has taken its place among
the habits of the middle classes, or less wealthy
classes, properly speaking, and objects of art are
common in bronze—that is, in zinc ; in composi­
tions merely colored to resemble the authentic
material, of which the cost has never diminished,
and is even increasing.

The Vendome Column.The French are proud of
their Vendome Column as a historical monu­
ment; but as a work of art. they denounce it as

detestable. It was made, as is generally known,
of the Austrian cannon captured at Austerlitz,
which contained ten parts of tin to ninety parts
of copper ; but so imperfectly was the process
carried out that no two plates, curled about the
inner stalk of masonry, represented the same
amalgamation. The different parts had been
cooled at different times, and at different degrees
of temperature, and the result—so Parisian
critics affirm—was a fiasco.

Statue of Marcus Aurelius.—With reference to
the previous work of the modeler, it belongs to
the subject of sculpture generally, while, as to its
practice among classic artists, little information
has come down to us. They are only known to
modern times by their perfections. The eques­
trian statue of Marcus Aurelius, copied at Paris,
was minutely examined by MM, Saudrard and
Duquesnoy, who declared that it was without a
flaw, that the metal was nowhere of a thickness
exceeding that of a five-franc piece, and that,
although at once colossal and, to all appearance,
fragile, it possessed every imaginable element of

The Roman Method.—The mold was made of clay
mixed with wheaten flour, which held together
well, while it came to pieces easily. The Ro­
mans, however, did not attempt to complete the
work by an unbroken flow from the caldron
into the mold. But, whatever their system, the
art was popular, for every ruined city of both
Rome and Greece has given up profusely its re­
lics in bronze, for which a rage existed. Cicero
tells of a sum equal to $1ooo being paid for a
figure not fifteen inches in height. In late days
wax molds were employed, at an enormous ex­
pense and with indifferent success; after them, a
composition of plaster ; next, iron plates, jointed
or riveted together and lined with “ porcelain
earth ;" but all these artifices failed. The bronze
did not take the true shape of the mold, and the
artist was, in nine cases out of ten, disappointed.

The Florentine Schools.—The art seemed in dan­
ger of disappearing when the glorious Florentine
schools arose, and the masterpieces of the Bap­
tistery, of Ghiberti, Donato, and Cellini, bearing
the unquestionable impress of the chisel, re­
deemed that which had threatened to become a
lost genius in Europe. The works of Keller
himself, at one time the ablest modeler in Chris­
tendom, were improved upon, retouched, soft­
ened and made more gracious by the men who
owed to him much of their teaching; and he
willingly retraced many a step to follow masters
who, to his imagination, seemed nothing less
than inspired. But that was in an age of luxury
for art. Ghiberti‘s gates, weighing 34,000 lbs.,
I cost 22,000 florins, a sum which would be gigan-
I tic in the nineteenth century. The Seigneurie

GLASS—SILVER­WARE—BRONZES­                                            49

of Florence paid Lorenzo, not with purses, but I
with estates. The first Francis never made a
bargain with Cellini, nor did Louis XIV. with
Keller. The gates of the Madeleine, on the
other hand, beautiful though they are, cost less
than £5000; the equestrian statue of Louis XIV.
at Lyons twice that amount. These, however,
do not rank as what are generally spoken of as
art-bronzes, which signify rather ornaments.
They may be of their natural color or gilded,
though in both cases receiving an artificial tint,
through the application of vinegar, ammoniacal
salts, cream of tartar, sea-salt and nitrate of
copper. The Florentines, nevertheless, had
their secret in this respect, which no modern in­
genuity or science has been enabled to penetrate.
But when the bronze is to be gilded, the French
founder resorts, as a rule, to what is termed the
quadruple alloy—that is, copper, zinc, lead and
tin—to obtain a more adhesive surface.

Among the Orientals.—As usual, these arts were
found among the Orientals long before they
made their appearance in the West. Countless
examples of them have been discovered among
the buried antiquities of Egypt. They are noted
in the Scriptures; they are found, according to
some, in Italy before they are found in Greece,
though the testimony on this point rests, it
should be observed, upon the rather apocryphal
effigies of Romulus, Horatius Cocles and Clelius.
Yet the Etruscans exhibited little knowledge of
bronze art, while in the Ionian island of Samos
the foundations of it in historic eras would ap­
pear to have been laid. In this material, it is
supposed, the Laocoön first grew into form.
Rhodes alone possessed a hundred Colossi of it,
and the bronzes of Athens emulated her marbles.
Treasures beyond valuation were exhumed from
Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the museums of
the South attest to the love of the older genera­
tions for this noble branch of the plastic arts—
the “Mercury,” in the Museo Borbonico; the
“Wrestlers,” in the same gallery—which sug­
gested the “ Pugilists” of Canova—the “ Drunk­
en Faun,” the “ Sleeping Satyr,” the “ Dancing
Faun,” in each of which, unpromising though
the substance seems, the blood seems to circu­
late. Naples possesses in bronze the busts of

Plato and Sappho, and once possessed the cele­
brated horse‘s head which an archbishop, taking
advantage of his opportunity, ordered to be
melted down and converted into a chime of bells,
But the crown of all this art is the equestrian
statue, already alluded to, of Marcus Aurelius
Antoninus, on the Capitoline Hill at Rome. Its
dignity resembles in nothing that of the bronze
Louis XIV. figuring in the saddle on the Place
des Victoires at Paris. It is simple, composed
and magnificent. It belongs to Italy, but was
the work of Greece.

French Bronzes.—In our days the monumental
has been largely superseded by a less ambitious,
and, so to speak, more domestic type. French
bronze, all qualifications apart, represents the
art in its nineteenth-century form ; upon this
material ten thousand artisans are constantly at
work in Paris alone, and their industry keeps
afloat annually a capital of two millions sterling.
Their labors are carried on in great factories or
at their own homes indifferently. They are less,
perhaps, the ministers of art than of luxury; but
the element of taste, at any rate, is indispensa­
ble, and in this the French artificer, or he who
instructs him, is rarely deficient. Besides which,
the great manufacturers—for it is a manufacture
after all—ransack the markets of Europe for
masterpieces, whether originals or copies, of
sculptures, which they so popularize that they are
presently to be seen reproduced in every draw-
ing-room and salle-à-manger of the capital.
What student is without his miniature Venus of
Milo, his Vatican Amazon, his Diana and Pol-
hymnia? He might as well be without a bit of
carved ebony or an ormolu clock ; and that very
clock must be surmounted by a group of the
Three Graces or a Penelope in bronze—or bronze
plaster, for to this has the traffic in taste fallen.
The passion is visible, too, in candelabra, chande­
liers, candlesticks, lamps, ink­stands, penholders,
watch-stands and innumerable humbler articles,
which, otherwise, would be produced with a thin
glitter of gilt upon the poorest material. Art
has, in more than one epoch, been nobly illus­
trated in bronze, and the French, whatever
ground they have lost, are still in advance of all
other nations.

But first, if you want to come back to this web site again, just add it to your bookmarks or favorites now! Then you'll find it easy!

Also, please consider sharing our helpful website with your online friends.








Copyright © 2000-present Donald Urquhart. All Rights Reserved. All universal rights reserved. Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners. Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of our legal disclaimer. | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | About Us