THE BRITISH JOURNAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY. August 5, 1864,
THE AMERICAN IVORYTYPE.
[THE CAMERA AND THE PENCIL.]
THIS picture was recently invented and introduced by Wenderoth.
It is a coloured photograph, finished so as to resemble a miniature
or portrait on ivory.
The mode of making it:--Select a vigorous, clearly-defined
impression, with margin enough to allow for mounting upon the
painter's stretcher or painting board. Damp the print with a sponge
dipped in clear water; then paste its edges upon the stretcher, and
with clean paper over its face, rub the print down smoothly. When
dry, it will be tight and firm for the artist to operate upon. Or
mount it upon a sheet of glass, with its edges ground to hold the
The photograph is now coloured upon the face, as a miniature,
with permanent colours; but colours much stronger than those
commonly employed on surface-painting, as the manner of mounting the
completed pictures upon plate-glass has the effect of lowering the
tone of the colours used.
As transparent colours are reduced, or lose considerably in tone
by this mode of mounting, they should be painted in much more
strongly than for surface-painting; while the body colours should be
kept down or reduced in tone, since they are heightened or made more
brilliant and vigorous by the manner of mounting.
The coloured print is now mounted on a perfectly clean sheet of
plate-glass, face downward, as follows:--Melt bleached, pure white
wax, and, while hot, pour it upon the glass plate, which is also
made and kept hot on a steel or iron plate, or a soapstone slab,
under which one or two spirit-lamps are continuously burning. While
the wax is quite liquid take the print by the ends, spring it in the
middle, and lower it gently into the heated wax, carefully pressing
from the middle outward both parts of it down into the wax, and then
with a straight-edged paper-folder, of ivory or bone, or some
similar article suited to the purpose, press and work out all the
air-bubbles and superfluous wax. This operation must, of course, be
executed while the plate is quite warm.
The paper-folder should be carefully rubbed from one extremity of
the print to the other without lifting it therefrom or suspending
the process, as a mark would thus be left on the picture, which will
be thoroughly saturated with wax, and which, if properly handled,
will be transparent, smooth, and beautiful.
Some artists use a compound of one part gum dammar to eight parts
wax; or Canada balsam and wax; or gum elmer and wax; same proportion
of one to eight parts of wax. Others use a larger proportion of the
Finally the picture is finished by placing upon its back and
firmly sealing to the glass a clean sheet of white paper or
cardboard, with a cardboard border or mat between the picture and
the paper, and with small lumps of hard wax stuck upon the dark or
opaque parts of the picture, so arranged as to keep them about
one-sixteenth or one-twentieth of an inch asunder. This distance
must be determined by effect or appearance produced, and regulated
by the judgment of the artist, when the picture is ready for the
frame. Sometimes a duplicate tinted print of the face is
placed behind to give more colour vigour.
To produce this picture in its perfection requires the highest
degree of artistic skill.
See: THE TOOVYTYPE: OR: