Dictionarium polygraphicum. Observations on vegetable colours.

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.
1. A strong infusion of galls filtred, mixt with a strong and clear solution of vitriol, makes a mixture as black as ink; which, with a little strong oil of vitriol, becomes transparent again. After which, by the affusion of a little quantity of a strong solution of salt of tartar, it regains its black colour.
The first black (altho’ pale in writing, yet) being dry, appears to be good ink.

2. A decoction of red roses, dried in fair water, mixed with a filtrated solution of blue vitriol, makes a black colour; and this being mix’d with a little aqua fortis, turns it from a black to a deep red; which, by the affusion of a little spirit of urine, may be presently reduced to a thick and black colour.

3. Yellow wax is whitened by dissolving it over the fire in spirit of wine; letting it boil a little, and then exhaling the spirit, or else while it is hot, separating it by filtration.

4. Fair water, mixt with a blood red tincture of benjamin, drawn with spirit of wine, immediately makes it of a milk white colour.

5. Blackness may be taken away with oil of vitriol; so black pieces of silk or hair may be turn'd to a kind of yellow.

6. A handful of lignum nephriticum rasp'd, infus'd in four pound of spring water, yields between the light and the eye an almost golden colour (except the infusion be too strong;) but with the eye, between the light and it (in a clear vial) a lovely blue, as indeed it is. This with spirit of vinegar may be made to vanish (still keeping its golden colour;) and afterwards, with oil of tartar per deliquium, may be restored again.

7. Cloth dyed with blue and woad is dyed into a green by the yellow decoction of luteola.

8. Syrup of violets, mixt with a high solution of gold in aqua regia, produces a reddish mixture; and with a high solution of filings of copper in spirit of urine, a lovely fair green.

9. Syrup of violets, mixt with a little juice of lemons, spirit of salt, vinegar, or the like acid salt, will immediately become red; but mix’d with oil of tartar, or a solution of pot ashes, will in a moment become a perfect green; and the like in the juice of blue-bottles.

10. A good quantity of oil of tartar, put into a strong solution of verdegrease, gives a delightful blue, which may be variously chang'd, by adding spirit of urine or hartshorn.

11. Altho' red roses hung over the fume of sulphur, lose all their redness, and become white; yet oil of sulphur (which is nothing but the fumes condensed) doth wonderfully heighten the tincture of the same.

12. Cochineal will have its colour far more heightened by spirit of urine, than by rectified spirit of wine; and one grain of cochineal in a good spirit of urine, being put into a hundred and twenty six ounces of water, ting'd it (although but faintly) which amounts to above 125 000 times its own weight.

13. Twenty grains of cochineal being mix’d with an ounce of saccharum saturni, will make a most glorious purple colour; and so accordingly, as the quantity is either diminished or increas'd, so the purple colour shall be either lighter or deeper.

14. A few grains of cochineal being mixt with the lixivium of quicklime in a due proportion, makes a fading purple colour of the greatest glory imaginable in the world.

15. The juice of privet berries with spirit of salt is turned into a lovely red; but with a strong solution of pot ashes into a delightful green.

16. Spirit of salt makes no considerable change; but rather a lighter red upon things red by nature, as syrup of clove gilliflowers, juice of buck-thorn berries, infusion of red-roses, brasile, &c.

17. Juice of jasmin and snow drops, will turn into a deep greenish yellow, by a strong alcaline solution (altho’ the juice of jasmin, &c. before were of no colour.)

18. Buckthorn berries, being gathered green and dryed, are call’d sap-berries, which being infus'd in alum water, produces a fair yellow (which is us’d by book-binders for the edges of books, and to colour leather also;) being gathered when they are black, they are call'd sap-green, and make a green colour, being put into a brass or copper vessel for three or four days; or a little heated upon the fire, and mix’d with alum in powder, and pressed out; so put into bladders, hanging it up till it is dry; and being gathered about the end of November, (when they are ready to drop) they yield a purplish colour.

19. Tincture of cochineal, diluted never so much with fair water, will never yield a yellow colour. A single drop of a deep solution in spirit of urine, diluted in an ounce of fair water, makes a fair pink, or carnation.

20. Oil or spirit of turpentine, digested with pure white sugar of lead, yields in a short time a high red tincure, which chymists call balsamum saturni.

21. Spirit of salt dropt into a strong infusion of cochineal or juice of black-cherries, makes presently a fair red; but dropt into the infusion of brasile, a kind of yellow. So the filtrated tincture of balaustin, mixt with good spirits of urine, or the like, turns of a darkish green; but with spirit of salt, a high red ness, like rich claret wine; which glorious colour may in a moment be destroyed, and turned into a dirty green, by spirit of usine.

22. A high infusion of lignum nephriticum, mix’d with spirit of urine, produces so deep a blue, as to render the liquor opake; which however vanishes, after a day or two, and leaves the liquor of a bright amber colour. Where you may take notice, that instead of spirit of urine, you may use oil of tartar, or a strong solution of pot-ashes.

23. Infusion of logwood, in fair water (mixt with spirit of sal armoniack) immediately turns into a deep, rich, lovely purple; two or three drops is enough for a spoonful, left the colour be so deep as to be opake.

24. Spirit of sal armoniack will turn syrup of violets to a lovely green.

25. An infusion of litmose in fair water will in a clear glass give a purple colour; but will be wholly chang'd into a glorious yellow, by spirit of salt being added.

26. The infusions and juices of several plants will be much altered by a solution of lead in spirit of vinegar; it will turn the infusion of red rose leaves into a sad green.

27. So the tincture of red roses in fair water would be turn’d into a thick green, with the solution of minium in spirit of vinegar; and then with the addition of oil of vitriol the resolved lead would precipitate white, leaving the liquor of a clear high red colour.

28. It has not been yet found, that to exhibit the strong variety of colours, there is need that any more than these five be applied, viz. white, black, red, blue, yellow; for these being variously compounded, exhibit a variety and number of colours; so many, that those who are strangers to painting, can hardly imagine.

29. So black and white variously mixt, make a vast company of light and deep grays; blue and yellow, a great variety of greens; red and yellow, several orange tawneys; red and white, a number of carnations; red and blue, several purples; and thus are many colours produc’d, for which we want names.

30. Acid salts destroy a blue colour; sulphureous, urinous, or fixed, restore it.

31. Acid and alkalizate salts, with many bodies that abound with sulphureous or oily parts, will produce a red, as is manifest in the tincture of sulphur, made with lixiviums of calcined tar tar or pot ashes.

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