« PreviousContinue »
We are unable to discover who first found out the 'The Chinese have lately discovered a new subart of making porcelain, nor is it known whether the stance proper to be employed in the composition of Chinese were indebted to chance for it, or to the re- porcelain. It is a stone, or rather species of chalk, peated efforts of inventive genius ; we cannot even called hoa-che, from which the physicians prepare a determine its antiquity with precision ; we know on- kind of draught that is said to be detersive, aperient, ly from the annals of Feou-leang, a city in the dis- and cooling. The manufacturers of porcelain have trict to which King-te-tching belongs, that, since the thought proper to employ this stone instead of kaoyear 442 of our era, the workmen of this village have lin. It is called hoa, because it is glutinous, and has always furnished the emperors with porcelain ; and a great resemblance to soap. Porcelain made with that one or two mandarins were sent from court to hoa-che is very rare, and much dearer than any inspect their labours. It is, however, supposed that other. It has an exceedingly fine grain ; and with the invention of porcelain is much older than that regard to the painting, if it be compared with that of epocha.
the common porcelain, it appears to surpass
it We are indebted to father d'Entrecolles, a mission- much as the most elaborate miniature does a common ary of the church of Rome, for a very accurate ac- oil painting. This porcelain is besides so light that count of the manner in which porcelain is made in it surprises those who are accustomed to handle other China. We shall therefore give his account of the kinds ; it is also much more brittle. Chinese manner of making it, as abridged by Grosier When hoa-che is taken from the mine it is washin his “general description of China.” The princi- ed in rain or river water, to separate it from a kind of pal ingredients of the fine porcelain are pe-tun-tse yellow earth that adheres to it. It is then pounded, and kao-lin, two kinds of earth from the mixture of put into a tub filled with water to dissolve it, and afwhich the paste is produced. "The kao-lin is inter- terwards formed into cakes like kao-lin. We are mixed with small shining particles; the other is assured that hoa-che, when prepared in this manner, purely white, and very fine to the touch. These first without the mixture of any other earth, is alone sufmaterials are carried to the manufactories in the ficient to make porcelain. It serves instead of kaoshape of bricks. The pe-tun-tse, which is so fine, lin, but it is much dearer. Kao-lin costs only tenis nothing else but fragments of rock taken from cer- penice per-pound; the price of hoa-che is half a tain quarries and reduced to powder. Every kind crown ; this difference, therefore, greatly enhances of stone is not fit for this purpose. The colour of the value of porcelain made with the latter. that which is good, say the Chinese, ought to incline To pe-tun-tse and kao-lin, the two principal elea little towards green. A large iron club is used for ments, must be added the varnish from which it debreaking these pieces of hard stone ; they are after- rives its splendour and whiteness. This is of a whitwards put into mortars, and by means of levers liead-ish colour, and is procured from the same kind of ed with stone bound round with iron, they are reduced stone which produces the pe-tun-tse, but the whitest to a very fine powder. These levers are put in ac- is always chosen, and that which has the greenest tion either by the labour of men, or by water, in the spots. The stone is first washed and pulverised; it same manner as the hammers of our paper-mills. is then ihrown into water, and after it has been puriThe pulverised mass being afterwards collected is fied it throws up a kind of cream. To one hundred thrown into a large vessel full of water, which is pounds of this cream is added one pound of che-kao, rapidly stirred with an iron shovel. When it has a mineral soinething like alum, which is put into the been left to settle for some time, a kind of cream ri- fire till it becomes red hot and is then pounded: ses on the top, about four inches in thickness, which 'This mineral gives a degree of consistence to the is skimmed off
, and poured into another vessel filled varnish, which is however carefully preserved in its with water; the water in the first vessel is stirred state of fluidity. repeatedly and the semi-fluid material collected, until The next process consists in again purifying the nothing remains but the coarse dregs, which by their pe-tun-tse and the kao-lin. The workmen then proown weight precipitate to the bottom; these dregs ceed to mix these two substances together. For fine are carefully collected and pounded anew.
porcelain they put an equal quantity of the kao-lin With regard to what is taken from the first vessel and the pe-tun-ise ; for the middling sort they ise it is suffered to remain in the second until it is form- four parts of the kao-lin and six of the pe-tun-tse. ed into a kind of crust at the bottom. When the wa- The least quantity put of the former is one part to ter above it seems quite clear, it is poured off by three of the pe-tun-tse. When this mixture is fingently inclining the vessel, that the sediment may ished, the mass is thrown into a large pit, well paved not be disturbed ; and the paste is thrown into large and cemented in every part; it is then trod upon, and moulds proper for drying it. Before it is entirely kneaded until it becomes hard. This labour is so hard, it is divided into small square cakes, which much the more fatiguing as it must be continued are sold by the hundred. The colour of this paste, without intermission : were it interrupted all the and its form, have occasioned it to receive the name other labourers would be unemployed. From this of pe-tun-tse.
mass, thus prepared, the worknien detach different The kao-lin, which is used in the composition of pieces, which they spread out upon large slates, porcelain, requires less labour than the pe-tun-tse. where they knead and roll them in every direction, Nature has a greater share in the preparation of it
. carefully preserving them in a solid state, and taking There are large mines of it in certain mountains, the care to keep them free from the mixture of any exexteriour strata of which consist of a kind of red earth. traneous body. When this paste has not been propThese mines are very deep, and the kao-lin is found erly prepared, the porcelain cracks, and melis or in small lumps, that are formed into bricks after hav- becomes, warped. ing gone through the same process as the pe-tun- After a piece of porcelain has been properly form18
ed it passes into the hands of the painters. The hoa.
pei, or painters in porcelain, are equally indigent with its colours, and all the intended ornaments, it is the other workmen; they follow no certair plan in transported from the manufactory to the surnace, their art, nor are they acquainted with any of the which is situated at the other end of the village of rules of drawing; all their knowledge is the effect King-te-tching. of practice, assisted frequently by a whimsical inna- The small pieces of porcelain, such as teacups gination. Some of them, however, show no incon- are enclosed in cases about four inches in height siderable share of taste in painting flowers, animals, Each piece is placed upon a saucer of earth about and landscapes, on porcelain, as well as upon the iwice as thick as a crown piece, and equal in breadth paper of fans, and the silk used for filling up the to its bottom. These small cases are also sprinkled squares of lanterns. The labour of painting in the over with the dust of the kao-lin. When the cases manufactories of which we have spoken is divided are large, the porcelain is not placed in the middle, among a great number of hands. The business of because it would be too far removed from the sides, one is entirely confined to tracing out ihe first col- and consequently from the action of the fire. oured circle which ornaments the brims of the ves- These piles of cases are put into the furnace, and sel ; another designs the flowers, and a third paints placed upon a bed of coarse sand, half a foot ir them ; one delineates waters and mountains, and an- ihickness: those which occupy the middle space other birds and other animals : human figures are are at least seven feet high. The two boxes which generally the worst executed.
are at the bottom of each pile remain empty, because The tsou-you is a kind of varnish procured from the fire acts too feebly upon them, and because they white flint, which has the peculiar property of mak- are partly covered by the sand. For the same reaing those pieces of porcelain upon which it is laid son, the case placed at the top of each pile is also appear to be covered with an infinitude of veins in suffered to be empty. The piles which contain the every direction ; at a distance they would be taken finest porcelain are placed in the middle part of the for cracked vases, the fragments of which have not furnace; the coarsest are put at its further extremibeen displaced. The colour communicated by this ty; and those pieces which have the most body and varnish is a white, somewhat inclining to that of ash- the strongest colouring are near its mouth.
If it be laid upon porcelain, entirely of an azure These different piles are placed very closely in blue, it will appear in the same manner to be varie- the furnace; they support each other mutually by gated with beautiful veins. This kind of porcelain pieces of earth, which bind them at the top, bottom, is called tsoui-ki.
and middle, but in such a manner that a free pasThe Chinese make vases ornamented with a kind sage is left for the fame to pass every where around of fret-work, perforated in such a manner as lo re-them. semble very fine lace. In the middle is placed a Before each of these furnaces for baking porcecup proper for holding any liquid ; and this cup lain there is a long porch, which conveys air, and makes only one body with the former, which appears supplies in certain respects the place of a bellows. like lace wrapped round it. The Chinese workmen It serves for the same purposes as the arch of a had formerly the secret of making a still more sin- glass-house. “These furnaces,” says father d'Engular kind of porcelain; they painted upon the sides recolles, " which were formerly only six feet in of the vessel fishes, insects, and other animals, height and the same in length, are constructed now which could not be perceived until it was filled with upon a much larger plan ; they are nearly two fathwater. This secret is in a great measure lost: the oms in height and four in breadth ; and the sides following part of the process is, however, preserved. and roof are so thich that one may lay the hand upThe porcelair which the workman intends to paint on them without being incommoded by the heat. in this manner must be extremely thin and delicate. The dome or roof is shaped like a funnel and has a When it is dry the colour is laid on pretty thick, large aperture at the top, through which clouds of not on the outside, as is generally done, but on the flame and smoke incessantly issue. Besides this inside. The figures painted upon it for the most principal aperture, there are five others smaller, part are fishes, as being more analogous to the wa- which are covered with broken pots, but in such a ier with which the vessel is filled. When the col- manner that the workman can increase or diminish our is thoroughly dry, it is coated over with a kind the heat according as it may be found most convenof glaze, made from porcelain-earth, so that the azure ient: through these also he is enabled to discover is entirely enclosed between two laminæ of earıb. when the porcelain is sufficiently baked. Having When the glaze becomes dry, the workman pours uncovered that hole which is nearest the principal some varnish into the vesssel, and afterward puts il aperture, he takes a pair of pincers and opens one upon a mould and applies it to the lathe. As this of the cases : if he observes a bright fire in the furpiece of porcelain has received its consistence and nace, if all the cases are red-hot, and if the colours body within, it is made as thin on the outside as of the porcelain appear with full lustre, he judges possible, without penetrating to the colour ; its exte- that it is in a proper state ; he then discontinues the riour surface is then dipped in varnish, and when fire, and entirely closes up the mouth of the furnace Jry it is baked in a common furnace. . The art of for some time. In the bottom of the furnace there making these vases requires the most delicate care is a deep hearth about two feet in breadth, over and a dexterity which the Chinese perhaps do not which a plank is laid, in order that the workman at present possess. They have, however, from time may entor to arrange the porcelain. When the fire to time made several attempts to revive the secret is kindled on this hearth, the mouth of the fornace of this magick painting, but their suceess has been is immediately closed up, and an aperture is left very imperfect. This kind of porcelain is known sufficient for the admission of fagots about a foot in by the name of kia-tsing, "pressed azure.”
length, but very narrow. The furnace is first heat." After the porcelain has received its proper form, led for a day and a night, after which two men keep
continually throwing wood into it, and relieve each when bruised, they diffuse a strongly aromatick other by turns. One hundred and eighty loads are odour. The flowers, which grow at the ends of the generally consumed for one baking. As the porce- branches, are disposed in bunches, and are formed lain is burning hot, the workman employs for the of a long calyx, divided into four segments, and a purpose of taking it out long scarfs, or pieces of corolla, consisting of four roundish notched petals cloth which are suspended from the neck.' of a very pale blue colour. This same calyx, gath
The Chinese divide their porcelain into several ered before the unfolding of the petals, is, properly classes, according to its different degrees of fineness speaking, the clove, the gathering of which is the and beauty. The whole of the first is reserved for principal object of the cul:evation of the clove-tree : the emperour. It is much to be doubled whether this business begins in October, and ends in Feb. any of the largest and and finest porcelain of China ruary, at which time the cloves have acquired a redhas ever been brought to Europe; the missionaries dish colour, and a certain degree of firmness. Large at least assure us that none of that kind is sold cloths are spread under the tree to receive the blosat Canton. The Chinese set some value upon the soms, which are brought down by strongly shaking Dresden porcelain, and still more upon that which the branches, or by the use of long reeds. They comes from the manufactories of France.
require to be dried quickly, but are first immersed in boiling water; this is said to be done in order 10 prevent injury from worms, but more likely it is in order to increase the weight. After this they are spread upon hurdles, covered with leaves, and exposed for a few days to smoke and a strong heat. This fumigation is followed by drying the cloves in the sun, and it is considered as a proof of the moisture being sufficiently evaporated when, upon raising the outward petals with the nail, the inside displays a bright red colour. The clove, to be in perfection, must be full-sized, heavy, oily, and easily broken; of a fine smell, and a hot aromatick taste, so as almost to burn the throat: it should make the fingers smart when handled, a:d leave a greasy moisture upon them when pressed. The upper part, that is the corolla, should be of rather a lighter brown than the calyx, and should be easy to separate from it. The best variety of the Amboyna cloves is called the royal clove, by way of distinction; it is smaller and blacker than the other varieties, and is very
From the unopened flowers is distilled an aromatick oil, formerly much in repute. The best is brought from Amboyna in bottles, but a considerable quantity is drawn off in this country.
The clove-tree requires a rich and fertile soil; it is requisite that every weed and shrub in its immediate neighbourhood should be carefully removed, which practice has given rise to the idea which some travellers have entertained, that it attracts to itself all the nourishment of the soil in which it grows. The tree, if left to its natural growth, would rise to a considerable height, but a low stem sending off branches at its origin is preferred, for the facility of gathering the fruit.
'The cloves which have been left upon the tree CLOVES.
produce a fruit of an oval form, and about half an
inch in diameter, containing a single kernel. This For the clove, we are principally indebted to the is called the mother clove, and is made into a sweetisland of Amboyna. This island, which is situated meat by the Dutch. It is by this berry also that near the western point of Ceram, is called by the the tree is propagated; if put into the ground imMalays Ambun, which word signifies dew.
mediately upon being gathered, it produces the The botanical name of the tree which produces clove-tree, and flowers at the end of eight or nine thu clove is Caryophyllus aromaticus; its bark is years. Each tree yields annually on an average thin and smooth like that of the beech, and its trunk, upward of two pounds of cloves, and continues to which is composed of an extremely hard wood, does bear flowers for a hundred years. It is the custom not rise above five feet in height, but divides itself with the natives of Amboyna to plant one of these into severa.l principal branches, the boughs of which trees upon the birth of a child, in order, by a rough are cover od with leaves and flowers in the month of calculation, to know its age; and these the Dutch March. The leaves are placed opposite to each did not dare to extirpate for fear of an insurrection, other, are of a dull green colour, smooth, and re- when they made their annual progress of devasta comhle js, farin and consistence those of the laureliltion Through the Moluccas.
tion of the ancient mastor, and the other, accordin This beautiful and important branch of the fine to his own idea of a simplification of the Dorick arts, combines within itself painting, sculpture, build-That of Vignola, however, has been most generall! ing, and some of the higher portions of mathematical approved and adopted. Michael Angelo Buonarotti, the great
The base of this order consists of a simple torus founder of modern architecture, possessed these with its fillet; it is, as are in general in all the Ro attainments in a very eminent degree, and was con- man orders, accompanied by a plinth. sequently enabled to leave to posterity a monument of The proportions, from Sir W. Chambers, are a his art, unequalled by any but that of the celebrated follow : the column, fourteen modules; the entabla Sir Christopher Wren. And if we go back to a ture, three modules, fifteen minutes. Of the furnier still earlier period, we shall find that most of the the base occupies one module; the shaft, (including great edifices of antiquity required as intimate an the astragal, which divides it from the capital, acquaintance with the exact sciences, as with the twelve modules, and the capital one. Of the latter merely ornamental branches of design. Of the par- the architrave, (including the fillet,) thirty-one min. amount importance of architecture little need be said utes and a half; the frieze, the same ; and the corwhether we consider it, as some have done, as a nice, forty-two minutes. mechanical science, sheltering beneath its ample The intercolumniations, in all the orders except wing the several employments of masons, carpenters, the Dorick, are the same ; viz., the eustyle, which smiths, and all those artizans whom modern refine- is most common and beautiful, four modules, twenty ment has rendered necessary for the enjoyment of minutes ; the diastylé, six modules ; and the aræo life, or as a fine art, exercising the highest powers style, seven modules. of the human mind, and becoming the parent and
The Tuscan order admits of preserver of painting and sculpture, whose very ex- no ornaments, nor flutes in the istence may be said to depend upon it.,
columns; but rustick cinctures We may now take the subject of architecture are sometimes represented on somewhat more in detail, and in accordance with the shaft, an example of which our plan, proceed to examine the various “ orders," occurs in the accompanying ilas they are called, commencing with the Tuscan. lustration, fig. 1.
This order may be employed in most cases, where strength and simplicity are required, rather than magnificence; such as prisons, market-places, arsenals; and the inferiour parts of large buildings.
The Dorick Order. We now come to an order, of which numerous ancient examples exists, and which will, in consequence, furnish us with more materials
Fig. 1. Fig. 2. for description than the preceding. It is represented at fig. 2. The origin of the Dorick order is thus described by Vitruvius :
Dorus, son, of Hellen and the nymph Orises, reigned over Achaia and Peloponnesus. He built a temple of this order, on a spot sacred to Juno, at Argos, an ancient city. Many temples similar to it were afterward raised in the other parts of Achaia, though at that time its proportions were not precisely established.” This account, is very incredible, and is now generally rejected.
From theory, however, we must now proceed to fact and description, and will commence with the Dorick of the Greeks, referred to by Vitruvius, (who nevertheless confounds this with what was commonly executed at Rome in his time.) The most perfect example is the order of the Parthenon, or temple of Minerva, in the Acropolis at Athens, erected under the administration of Pericles, who lived about four hundred and fifty years before the Chris
We cannot do better than give the dimen[Tuscan Order.]
sions of this singularly fine specimen. The columr,
(including the capital,) ten modules, twenty-eigh The Tuscan order, as an antique, exists only in minutes and a half; the whole entbalature, three the works of Vitruvius, the description in which, modules, twenty-seven minutes and three quarters ; being very obscure, has left a wide field for the in- the capital, twenty-seven minutes and three quargenuity of modern architects. Among these Palla- ters; the architrave, (with its fillet,) one module, dio, composed two profiles; one from the descrip- twelve minutes and three quarters; the frieze, to
without a base, comparing it to a man, but I am, at the same time struck with the idea of a person without feet, rather than without shoes ; for which reason I am inclined to believe, either that the architects had not yet thought of employing bases to their columns, or that they omitted them in order to leave the pavement clear, the angles and projection of bases being stumbling-blocks to passengers, and so much the more troublesome, as the architects of those times frequently placed their columns very near each other, so that, had they been made with bases, the passages between them would have been extremely narrow and inconvenient. Accordingly, to supply this defect, as it was considered in this order, most architects have employed the attick base, which is common to all the orders except the Tuscan though belonging, perhaps more peculiarly to the Jonick.
It consists of two tori, with a scotia and fillets between the upper of which, in this version, resembles an inverted ovolo. The fillet above the upper torus is always connected with the shaft by a curve, as is also that under the capital, for which reason they are commonly considered as part of the shaft. The plinth, or square member beneath, is usually understood, in Roman architecture, as an indispensable appendage to the base, though Palladio has omitted it in his Corinthian order; but it is rarely found in the Greek specimens. To save this order, however, from the sad humiliation of being obliged to borrow a shoe when required to wear one, Vignola provided it with this appendage. His base
consists of one large torus with one considerably (Dorick Order.]
smaller resting upon it, surmounted by the fillet.
M. Le Clerc has, however, we apprehend, discovthe square member of the corona, one module, nine- ered the true reason why, at least in the latter Greek teen minutes; and the cornice, twenty-six minutes. specimens, the base is onnitted ; namely, the very Diameter of the column at the top, one module, six- narrow intercolumniations. In the Greek order teen minutes.
alteration is not probable, and perhaps not desirable; To proceed to the order designated by this title but in the Roman, where this addition has been long by the Romans. Very few ancient examples of provided for us, and the intercolumniations adjusted this variation exist. The most perfect is that of the accordingly, the omission would be certainly imtheatre of Marcellus, if, perhaps, we except that proper. misshapened pile, Trajan's column, which is gener- The most striking peculiarity in this order is the ally pronounced to be 'Tuscan. It is, therefore, prin- triglyph, (supposed by Vitruvius to be the end of the cipally indebted for its existence to the modern Ital- joists laid transversely on the beam of the archiian architects, who, having little of antiquity before trave,) which forms the technical distinction between their eyes appear to have bestowed more attention the Grecian and Roman Dorick, being in the former upon this order than the others, and it must be con- always placed at the corner of the entablature, and fessed that they have made of it a very elegant de- in the latter, invariably over the centre of the colsign, though, as before observed, essentially differ- umn. This circumstance is a corroboration of the ent from the original and true Dorick. The meas- objection against the notion of the timber prototype; ures, from Sir William Chambers, are as follow : for, following the idea of the Egyptian origin of the base, thirty minutes; the shaft, thirteen modules, Greek architecture, there is found in the large holtwenty-eight minutes; and the capital, thirty-two lowed crown moulding of the temple of Tentyris, a minutes ; the architrave, thirty minutes ; the frieze decoration very similar to the Dorick triglyph, the to capital of triglyph, forty-five minutes; and cor- extreme parts of which are placed at the angle, like nice, forty-five minutes. Upper diameter of column, the Greek Dorick, but which, from their situation, fifty minutes.
bear not the least resemblance to the ends of pieces In no example of antiquity is the Dorick column of wood. The triglyph is surmounted by the muprovided with a base. This circumstance has occa- tule, in the Greek, and in some Roman examples sioned no small perplexity to some of those fanciful incl: ied, but in most modern profiles horizontal : on writers, who seek in every point some analogy to its : visit are represented guttæ, or drops. The spathe human figure, or the trunk of a tree. Vitruvius, ces between the triglyphs on the frieze, are called indeed, has told them that the base is a shoe, first metopes, which, in the modern Dorick, are invariainvented to cover the nakedness of the matronly pro- bly perfectly square, and generally enriched with totype of the Ionick order. “But," says Monsieur sculptures. Those which formerly adorned tho Le Clerc, “I must own I cannot consider a column/metopes of the Parthenon were brought to England