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Restoring black lines

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  • hp5plus
    Hello I have a number of ivory scales etc. that have weak black lines & divisions. How does one go about restoring the blackness? It must be an easy process
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 5, 2002
      Hello

      I have a number of ivory scales etc. that have weak black lines &
      divisions. How does one go about restoring the blackness? It
      must be an easy process to create this black infill in the first
      place but how was it done?

      I have a suspicion that either "ivory black" or "lamp black:" may
      have been used. According to an old encyclopaedia I have, "ivory
      black" is made by heating ivory in a reduced atmosphere, then
      pounding it to fine powder. I havn't tried as yet but I might!

      I suppose the "ivory black or lamp black" powder is brushed
      gently into the scale divisions and the surplus wiped clear; but is
      it that simple?

      Anyone out there know? I would be greatly interested.

      JB
      York UK
    • patentdorf
      John - According to Tomlinson s CYCLOPEDIA OF USEFUL ARTS & MANUFACTURES (ca. 1858) graduation lines on ivory are: first filled in with a composition of
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 6, 2002
        John -
        According to Tomlinson's CYCLOPEDIA OF USEFUL ARTS & MANUFACTURES (ca.
        1858) graduation lines on ivory are:
        "first filled in with a composition of lamp-black and hard
        tallow, or beeswax and olive oil; when this has been hard rubbed into
        the strokes the whole surface is well rushed (sic), and then polished
        with chalk (dust) and water, laid upon a linen rag"
        Apparantly the lamp black by itself will not stay in the
        graduation lines. You have to mix it with (boiled) linseed oil and/or
        wax, and use this mixture to fill the grooves.
        Hope you find this useful.
        Phil Stanley

        --- In DrawingInstruments@y..., "hp5plus" <john.bateman2@b...> wrote:
        > Hello
        >
        > I have a number of ivory scales etc. that have weak black lines &
        > divisions. How does one go about restoring the blackness? It
        > must be an easy process to create this black infill in the first
        > place but how was it done?
        >
        > I have a suspicion that either "ivory black" or "lamp black:" may
        > have been used. According to an old encyclopaedia I have, "ivory
        > black" is made by heating ivory in a reduced atmosphere, then
        > pounding it to fine powder. I havn't tried as yet but I might!
        >
        > I suppose the "ivory black or lamp black" powder is brushed
        > gently into the scale divisions and the surplus wiped clear; but is
        > it that simple?
        >
        > Anyone out there know? I would be greatly interested.
        >
        > JB
        > York UK
      • Larry Stewart
        Dear JB: I would advise caution before you attempt to re-ink faded lines on Ivory, especially if it s old. There is a big risk of staining the surface of the
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 6, 2002
          Dear JB:

          I would advise caution before you attempt to re-ink faded lines on
          Ivory, especially if it's old. There is a big risk of staining the
          surface of the Ivory, and that could well destroy the instrument! (At
          least any value or usability).

          If there is a small, hidden area that you could try your choice of
          pigmentingagent on first, I would urge that you try that first. You
          might also wish to contact museum conservators or antique restorers to
          gain their advice before you proceed. As they say; an ounce of
          prevention is better than a pound of cure!

          Best wishes for success! Larry Stewart, Ottawa, Canada.
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