Dictionarium Polygraphicum. Containing. Preface.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol I.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.

I. The ARTS of Designing, Drawing, Painting, Washing Prints, Limning, Japanning, Gilding in all their various kinds. Also Perspective, the Laws of Shadows, Dialling, &c.

II. Carving, Cutting in Wood, stone; Moulding and Casting Figures in Plaister, Wax, Metal; also Engraving, and Etching, and Mezzotinto.

III. A brief historical Account of the most considerable Painters, Sculptors, Statuaries, and Engravers, with those Cyphers or Marks by which their Works are known.

IV. An Explanation of the Emblematical and Hieroglyphical Representations of the Heathen Deities, Powers, Human Passions, Virtues, Vices, &c. of great Use in History Painting.

V. The Production, Nature, Refining, Compounding, Transmutation and Tinging all sorts of Metals and Minerals of various Colours.

VI. The ARTs of Making, Working, Painting or staining all sorts of Glass, and Marble; also Enamels, the imitation of all forts of Precious stones, Pearls, &c. according to the Practice both of the Ancients and Moderns.

VII. Dying all sorts of Materials, Linen, Woollen, silk, Leather, Wood, Ivory, Horns, Bones; also Bleaching and Whitening Linen, Hair, &c.

VIII. The Art of Tapestry-Weaving, as now performed in England, Flanders and France, either of the high or low Warp; also many other curious Manufactures.

IX. A Description of Colours, Natural and Artificial, as to their Productions, Natures or Qualities, various Preparations, Compositions and Uses.

X. The method of making all kinds of Inks, both Natural and sympathetical; and also many other Curiosities not here to be specified, whereby this is rendred a more Compleat Work than has hitherto appear'd in any language.

Adorned with proper sculptures, curious, Engraven on more than fifty Copper Plates.

VOL. 1.

LONDON: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, s. Austen in st. Paul's Church-Tard, MDCCCXXV.


The Arts to which these volumes are an introduction, are so amiable in themselves, and unfold such a variety of advantages and delight to mankind, that we hope our endeavours to range them in a regular view, and render them intelligible even to a moderate capacity, will not be thought an unnecessary undertaking.

We have cast this work into the form of a Dictionary, because we judged such a disposition the most methodical of any, and as we are sensible that clearness of expression is essential to those performances which are published with a view to illustrate the Arts and sciences, we have always endeavoured to treat our subject with that perspicuity, as we flatter our selves will not disappoint the reader's expectation of improvement.

It has been our constant method to consider each particular Art in the rudiments from which it flows, and to trace it from those original principles to its perfeition: In the conduct of which design, we have advanced in that regular gradation from rule to rule, as is necessary to convey a distinct idea of every circumstance which deserves observation, and, at the same time, have endeavoured to preserve the due medium between an affected concisenes; which is generally obscure, and a loose redundancy which always satiates.

We have likewise, for the satisfaction of the curious, given a particular account of the materials employed in those mechanic arts which have a place in this work; and have added directions for proper applications of them in every branch of the Arts to which they are appropriated: We have also considered these materials, not only in their first shape of nature, but have attended them through every process of art, preparatory to their last forms in the shops of Colourmen, Druggifts, and other tradesmen; and have laid down proper rules for distinguishing the pure and genuine materials from those which are adulterated ana spurious.

As it was our intention to render this work, at once, in struffive and entertaining, we have interspersed several historical accounts of the greatest masters in these Arts; we have marked their several characters and peculiar turns of genius; we have pointed out their particular methods of study, and considered the amazing heights to which they raised the various Arts they professed; in a word, we have intro duced all the usefull variety we could collect, to make this article please the imagination, and inform the judgment.

Our observations have been carefully collefied from the most celebrated authors and digested into such an easy and regular series of instructions, that those Gentlemen who are disposed to consider them with attention, will be agreeably surprized at their speedy proficiency in such engaging studies, and will find the theory and practic part of these beneficial Arts attainable much sooner than they might possibly expect. We may likewise add that the expence of purchasing, and the tedious fatigue of consulting a vast number of volumes on these subjects will be rendered unnecessary, since we have included, in this work, all the material precepts and informations that are to be drawn from every valuable treatise on these subjects, already extant.

As the intention therefore of this work is to familiarise these charming Arts to the laudable curiosity of all who wish for a competent proficiency in them; and as we have formed it, from the best authorities, in such a system of instruction as has a direct tendency to produce that effect, in a more agreeable and compendious manner than has yet been at tempted, we hope no objection of any moment can be rais'd against it, to prevent its obtaining a favourable reception from the publick.

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