George Worgan c1867 The Art of Modelling Flowers in Wax.
Oh My, such a scarce book this one is, a FIRST EDITION entitled The Art of Modelling Flowers in Wax. IT is by George Worgan and is dated 1867, Civil War Period. The leather hardbound cover itself is quite coveted, a lovely deep blue with the title in gilt and around it recessed designs in the board margins. It has this design on the front and back, and the back has a recessed center cartouche with roses in a vase. (FYI--this is the companion book to Wax Flowers and How to Make Them, also on our website.)
For a book of its age, it is remarkably well preserved. The cover boards have minimal wear, and the corners are still in VG+ shape. The spine is completely intact, and the pages within are grade Near Fine. Indeed, it looks as if this book was only shelved, and never read.
The preface reads:
In submitting the Art of Modelling Flowers in Wax to public favor, I am induced to believe it will be found acceptable; while, to the inexperienced, it will afford much valuable information, removing real and apparent difficulties. It will also present a stimulus to many to exercise their imitative powers in copying nature's most beautiful works, thereby cultivating a taste for the Fine Arts, which, in these days of advancement, is absolutely essential in the varied pursuits of life. The Author trusts that he has conveyed the information to the reader in the most simple manner, his object being to make it a book of instruction rather than a mere work of words, whose tendency is rather to perplex than aid.
Some of the sub chapters include:
Wax Flowers as an Imitative and Decorative Art.
Materials essential for imitating flowers in wax.
General instructions for taking the patterns of flowers from nature.
How to tint flowers.
Forming petals and adjusting them according to Nature.
Construction of the Tea rosebud.
The pink tea rose.
The pink moss rose.
The white rose.
The red or damask rosebud.
Formation of the heliotrope.
Forget me not.
The white camellia.
The English pink.
White water lily.
The yellow Jasmine.
Double purple violet.
The dark geranium.
Lily of the valley.
A couple excerpts read:
A pair of scissors, light and thin, such as used by surgeons, are the best adapted for the purpose; they should be thin in the blades and rather loose in the rivets, so as to cut easily round the paper pattern; a cup to hold water; a pallet; three or four steel pins, with bead heads of different sizes; six or eight bristle brushes; two or three small sable pencils; three rings of green wire of different thicknesses; two wooden molds for forming bell-shaped flowers, such as the lily of the valley or stephanotas; a small quantity of gum arabic dissolved in pur water; some white wax in sheets of a thin texture, also some of the extra thick or double wax; a few tints of green wax, a shade of light yellow wax; some bloom for white flowers and tea roses, also some tints for making violets, dark roses, geraniums, and very brilliant colored flowers, prepared expressly by myself.
Roses are very irregular in formation, the petals are generally bunched in tiers of two or three. No positive rule can be given in forming the rose, much is left to the taste of the pupil. Copy the character of the flower. Should you find that it looks stiff or awkward, take the petals off and put them on in a different manner.
It is a sweet textbook on how to make all wax flowers, buds, leaves, and more. It is especially intriguing, as this was the type of book ladies used to make their bridal tiara wax flowers! It was an essential piece of Victorian life; that is, that a proper lady would excel at her skills in making wax flowers for all occasions. And I'm sure it was a lovely Sunday pastime, or tea function when ladies gathered together.
39 pages, in pristine condition, unmarked. Overall size is 4 5/8 x 7.5 inches. We ship books inexpensively using USPS Media Mail insured, but can send at the Priority Mail rate. Please toggle to see the Priority Mail as a second option. We can also ship books to Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Please inquire for postage and we can open the listing for purchase.
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