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HomeContentsThemes > Ivorytypes


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612.01   Improving content on photographic techniques
612.02   Ivorytypes
The American Ivorytype / Toovytype
612.03   The American Ivorytype (1864)
612.04   The Toovytype: or: Ivorytype
This theme includes example sections and will be revised and added to as we proceed. Suggestions for additions, improvements and the correction of factual errors are always appreciated.
Information requests 
612.01   Process and product >  Improving content on photographic techniques 
We are seeking to expand the themes covering photographic techniques and processes. These sections will include:
  • Invention of the process
  • Any related patents
  • Trade literature
  • Contemporary advertisements and announcements of the innovation
  • A description of the process and its variants
  • Historical examples and details of where examples can be located in public collections
  • Contemporary examples by photographers using the exact process.
Conservation will not initially be included but may be in the future if required.
612.02   Process and product >  Ivorytypes 
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The American Ivorytype / Toovytype 
612.03   Process and product >  The American Ivorytype (1864) 
1864, 5 August, The British Journal of Photography
The American Ivorytype - the Camera and the Pencil
This picture was recently invented and introduced by Wenderoth. It is a coloured photograph, finished so as to resemble a miniature or portrait on ivory.
The mode of making it:--Select a vigorous, clearly-defined impression, with margin enough to allow for mounting upon the painter's stretcher or painting board. Damp the print with a sponge dipped in clear water; then paste its edges upon the stretcher, and with clean paper over its face, rub the print down smoothly. When dry, it will be tight and firm for the artist to operate upon. Or mount it upon a sheet of glass, with its edges ground to hold the paste.
The photograph is now coloured upon the face, as a miniature, with permanent colours; but colours much stronger than those commonly employed on surface-painting, as the manner of mounting the completed pictures upon plate-glass has the effect of lowering the tone of the colours used.
As transparent colours are reduced, or lose considerably in tone by this mode of mounting, they should be painted in much more strongly than for surface-painting; while the body colours should be kept down or reduced in tone, since they are heightened or made more brilliant and vigorous by the manner of mounting.
The coloured print is now mounted on a perfectly clean sheet of plate-glass, face downward, as follows:--Melt bleached, pure white wax, and, while hot, pour it upon the glass plate, which is also made and kept hot on a steel or iron plate, or a soapstone slab, under which one or two spirit-lamps are continuously burning. While the wax is quite liquid take the print by the ends, spring it in the middle, and lower it gently into the heated wax, carefully pressing from the middle outward both parts of it down into the wax, and then with a straight-edged paper-folder, of ivory or bone, or some similar article suited to the purpose, press and work out all the air-bubbles and superfluous wax. This operation must, of course, be executed while the plate is quite warm.
The paper-folder should be carefully rubbed from one extremity of the print to the other without lifting it there from or suspending the process, as a mark would thus be left on the picture, which will be thoroughly saturated with wax, and which, if properly handled, will be transparent, smooth, and beautiful.
Some artists use a compound of one part gum dammar to eight parts wax; or Canada balsam and wax; or gum elmer and wax; same proportion of one to eight parts of wax. Others use a larger proportion of the gum-varnishes.
Finally the picture is finished by placing upon its back and firmly sealing to the glass a clean sheet of white paper or cardboard, with a cardboard border or mat between the picture and the paper, and with small lumps of hard wax stuck upon the dark or opaque parts of the picture, so arranged as to keep them about one-sixteenth or one-twentieth of an inch asunder. This distance must be determined by effect or appearance produced, and regulated by the judgment of the artist, when the picture is ready for the frame. Sometimes a duplicate tinted print of the face is placed behind to give more colour vigour.
To produce this picture in its perfection requires the highest degree of artistic skill. 
612.04   Process and product >  The Toovytype: or: Ivorytype 
1864, 18 November, The British Journal of Photography
In our issue -of August-5th there appeared; under the heading of the "American Ivorytype," an extract -from a work entitled the Camera- and the Pencil. The extract in question purported to be a detailed. Account, of Mr. Wenderoth's recently invented method of producing a-certain class- of pictures Which usually went under that designation. They were there described as "ivorytypes," from their, resemblance to miniatures painted on that material, and they have been represented as being very beautiful: Mr. Wenderoth has written to us; repudiating the title; and; as we think the, inventor of a process has, the best right to fix its distinguishing name we shall henceforth adopt Mr. Wenderoth's design designation of "Toovytype" when alluding to this class-of pictures.
Since the extracts referred to above appeared in our pages, several inquiries have been sent to us by correspondents whose experiments in that direction had not succeeded altogether to their satisfaction. We could not assist them nor furnish them with more explicit details, from not having ourselves worked at the process; but Mr. Wenderoth himself now comes to our aid, and, in the generous spirit of a true photographer, gives freely .to his photographic brethren the information acquired from long and diligent practice.
In a communication recently received, he says;
"In looking over the (August 5th) number of THE BRITISH JOURNAL of PHOTOGRAPHY, I notice an article describing the process of making 'Toovytypes' invented by me, not recently as the author of the Camera and Pencil says, but some six years ago, and which description is almost correct.
"The style of coloured photographs there described has been very popular in America, and my success in them has been beyond expectation. Thinking that some of, your readers would like to produce such pictures, I gladly give them my six years' experience.
"When I first commenced to make these pictures I mounted them on the glass with pure wax, and continued to do so for two years. But as it was somewhat difficult to expel all the little air-bubbles, I added one fourth in volume of gum dammar varnish, which worked easier because it filled the pores of the paper more effectually; but it, was too inflammable, and I .substituted Canada balsam instead, which, as I then thought, was just the right thing. At the end of other two years I found that those pictures in which I had used balsam or varnish had turned quite cream coloured or yellow; whereas those with pure wax were just as fine and clear as on the day when made. I therefore fell back on the pure wax;, which I now use, and. which after a trial of six years I find quite unaltered. But I do not previously melt the wax in a cup, because I find that if it get too hot, it is sure to turn yellowish and impair the purity off the picture. I prefer taking a piece of the cake-wax; and when the plate is hot enough, I rub it over the side which is destined to receive the picture long enough to cover it with a thin layer. I them lay the picture face downwards on it, and press with the wax-cake over the back until, all the air has been worked out; and finally, while the plate is still hot, I clear the back and front of all superfluous wax.
"In place of the smaller sizes of 'Toovytype,' I now print my large specimens on white glass. Of these I send you two examples. These, pictures are, printed in contact with, the negative on: an albumen film containing chloride of silver. The one with a highly polished surface is sold plain and unvarnished, just in the , condition in which is comes from the washing trough, except that it is dried: The other specimen is on ground white glass, and is. of that kind required for painting.
"I was myself so little satisfied with these paper pictures transferred to glass (although they were very popular) that I determined to abandon, them, and find out if possible, a method of printing them direct an the glass. How far I have succeeded you will, from the specimens I have sent, be able to judge."

We should not have called such prominent attention to this process had not the specimens forwarded by Mr. Wenderoth been of the most beautiful kind, proving very satisfactorily the high artistic perfection of which its results are capable. In our opinion these pictures, in delicacy of detail and half-tone, in transparency of tints, and, in many other points, are fully equal--as indeed their general appearance bears a very close resemblance--to Camarsac's exquisite enamels.
At the next meeting of the North London Photographic Association, we hope to have the pleasure of showing these charming specimens, which, to our mind, have rarely been equalled, and certainly never, surpassed, by anything hitherto done in photography. The; process is stated to be very simple and not liable to failure. We shall soon, however, probably, have the gratification of laying more complete details before our readers.


HomeContents > Further research

General reading 
1864, 18 November, ‘The Toovytype: Or: Ivorytype‘, British Journal of Photography [Includes a communication from Mr. Frederick Wenderoth] [Δ
1864, 5 August, ‘The American Ivorytype [The Camera and the Pencil]‘, British Journal of Photography [Δ
Cooper, Peter F., 1863, The Art of Making and Colouring Ivorytypes, Photographs, Talbotypes, and Miniature Painting on Ivory, &c: Together with Valuable Receipts Never Before Published, (Philadelphia: Published by the Author) [Δ
Readings on, or by, individual photographers 
J.E. Mayall 
Mayall, 1855, October, Artificial Ivory for receiving photographic pictures, (British Patent No. 2381) [Δ
Marcus Aurelius Root 
Root, M.A., 1864, The Camera and the Pencil, or the Heliographic Art, (Philadelphia: M.A. Root, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, New York: D. Appleton) [Δ
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - 
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