Improvement in Finishing Pictures.

Scientific American 4, 23.1.1869

Among the most recent patents, is the one granted to Mrs. Sarah A. L. Hardinge, artist, 57 Fleet street, Brooklyn, for a method of finishing pictures, specimens of which we have examined. Very beautiful and charming effects are produced and the improvement promises to have an extensive introduction, as it may be employed by any artist with entire success.

The patentee states as follows in the specification: "This invention consists in the employment, in combination with the surfaces of photogrophic prints, lithographic prints, woodcut prints, engravings, and all kinds of pictures, whether upon paper or other material, of a translucent sheet or film such as wax, upon which film the inks or pigments used in coloring or finishing the picture are laid. In carrying out my invention I take any ordinary print or picture, as for example a photographic print, and upon the face thereof I place a sheet of ordinary white wax, sufficiently thin to be so translucent that,when the wax is in close contact with the picture,the principal outlines thereof can be discerned through the wax. I then carefully press the wax film into close contact with the surface of the picture, either by hard pressure or by means of a roller, or by passing the picture through a roller press, or other suitable press. In order to apply the necessary pressure, I cover the surface of the wax with fine paper. The application of suitable pressure serves to harden and condense the wax, making an excellent surface for the reception of inks and colors.

"The translucent film of wax thus applied will adhere very closely to the surface of the picture, which is then to be finished up by laying upon the film any suitable inks or colors that may be desired for the finishing of the picture, such as oil colors, water colors, india ink, etc.

"One of the peculiar advantages of my improvement is that the harsher lines and defects of the picture are more or less covered or softened, while the general effects of the lights and shades are blended and improved. This renders the use of my invention specially advantageous in connection with miniature coloring, as the skilled artist is enabled to preserve completely the original likeness, and yet with a comparatively small expenditure of time to produce the most charming and exquisite efficts by stippling and coloring.

"The facility with which the background of the picture may be altered, lightened when too dark by the application of white colors, or darkened with dark colors when too light, or otherwise artistically changed, will be obvious. Alterations and corrections in the picture, may also be readily effected. In case of accidental injury to the surface of the picture, it may be easily repaired and preserved. The border of the translucent film may be embossed with any suitable ornamental composition.

"In other examples, where the picture consists of a profile or other naked figure, the semitranslucent material, after being applied upon the surface of the picture, may be traced with a needle or pointed instrument around the form of the profile, and all of the film except that directly upon the profile may be removed and the edges of the film then leveled down to the background. In this way the filmcovered portion of the picture when colored up and finished, will appear to stand out in relief forming a medallion picture of very beautiful appearance.

"In the general use of my improvement the artist is enabled to produce accurate, lifelike colors and effects with a facility which results from no other process with which I am acquainted.

"The use of the film herein described, serves also to prevent the original picture from fading and preserve it from injury from moisture and atmospheric changes."

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