We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

The handmaid to the arts ...

Robert Dossie

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

The handmaid to the arts. Vol. the First. Teaching, I. A perfect knowledge of the materia pictoria, or, the nature, use, preparation, and composition of all the various substances employed in Painting, as well vehicles, dryers, &c. as colours; including those peculiar to enamel and painting on glass. II. The means of delineation, or the several Devices employed for the more easily and accurately making Designs From Nature, or Depicted Representations; either by off-tracing, calking, reduction, or other means; with the methods of taking casts, or impressions, from figures, busts, medals, leaves, &c. III. The various manners of gilding, silvering, Bronzing, with the preparation of the genuine Gold and Silver powders, and imitations of them, as also of the fat oil, gold fixes, and other necessary compositions;- the art of Japanning, as applicable not only to the former purposes, but to coaches, snuffboxes, &c. in the manner lately introduced;-and the method of Staining Different Kinds Of Substances, with all the several colours. The whole being calculated, as well for conveying a more accurate and extensive knowledge of the matters treated of to professed artists, as to initiate those who are desirous to attempt these arts, into the method of preparing and using all the colours, and other substances employed in painting in oil, miniature, crayons, encaustic, enamel, varnish, distemper, and fresco, as also in gilding, &c. [Vol. I.: t.p.]
The handmaid to the arts. Vol. the Second. Teaching. I. The preparation of inks, cements, and sealing-wax, of every kind. II. The art of engraving, etching, and scraping mezzotintos; with the preparation of the aqua fortis, varnishes, or other ground, &c. in the best manner now practiced by the French; as also the best manner of printing copper-plates; an improved method of producing washed prints, and of print in chiaro obscure, and with colours, in the way practiced by Mr Le Blon. III. The nature, composition, and preparation of glass of every sort; as also the various methods of counterfeiting gems of all kinds, by coloured glass, pastes, doubles, or the use of foils. IV. The nature and composition of porcelain, as well according to the methods practiced in China, as in the several European manufactories; with the best manner of burning, glazing, painting and gilding, the ware. V. Preparation of transparent and coloured glazings, for stone or earthen-ware. VI. The manner of preparing and moulding papier mache, and whole paper, for the forming boxes, frames, festoons, &c. and of varnishing, painting, and gilding the pieces of each kind ; with the method of making light Japan-ware. To which is added an appendix; containing several supplemental articles belonging, is some manner, to heads before treated of, either in this or the first volume; particularly, the method of marbling paper, of taking off paintings from old and transferring them to new cloths; of weaving tapestry, both by th e high and low warp; and of manufacturing paper hangings of every kind. [Vol. II.: t.p.]


2nd.,, with considerable additions and improvements


London: Printed for J. Nourse, Bookseller in Ordinary to his Majesty, MDCCLXIV

Physical Description

2 v. [v. I: [4], vi-xxvii, [10], 2-506, [10]. - v.II: [3], iv-xxviii, [1], 2-462, [10] 215 mm.

General Note

Anonymous. By Robert Dossie.
Vol I.: Page 88 is incorrectly numbered as 60; Vol. II: Page 90 is incorrectly numbered as 60 amd page 91 as19.


Vol. I: [t.p., dedic.] - Preface - Contents - Index. - Vol. II: [t.p.] - Preface - Contents - Appendix; containing several supplemental articles, belonging in some manner to heads before treated of, eitehr in the first or second volumes - Index.


ESTC, T125950


Painting, , Techniques
Colour theory
Printmaking - techniques


John Nourse, bookseller
Royal Society of Arts (London), dedicatee