Brass borders, technically known as Vandykes, are worked in narrow slips, and in other respects as above, except that unless a small hole is drilled through the brass and wood for the saw, it is allowed to cut its own path from the outside edge of the materials, and which is more usual. The true buhl, or the wood ground with brass scrolls, is laid down in four or more pieces around one box or panel; and the counter, or the brass ground with wood scrolls, upon another.

When the material is small and costly, as pearl-shell, it becomes necessary to use two or several pieces, accurately placed edge to edge, to cover the entire surface to be ornamented; and the joints are placed where least observable in the pattern. The paper knife, from part of which fig. 718 was drawn, required eight pieces of pearl shell; in using this material, a hole is made in the wood close against the pearl, and the saw is sent in from the edge of the same. The counter, when glued on another veneer, is not inlaid of the irregular angular form of the rough pieces of pearl, but it is cut around the general margin of the pattern, as at the one part of fig. 719, which represents the counter to fig. 718.

Fig. 718, the buhl or true buhl.

Buhl Cutter s Sawing Horse Continued 200172

Fig. 719, the counter or counterpart buhl.

Buhl Cutter s Sawing Horse Continued 200173

Inlaid by ordinary cutting. Inlaid by internal cutting.

Sometimes, to give additional elaboration and minuteness, the saw is made to follow all the device of the counter, and leave a narrow line of pearl both within and without: this is called internal cutting, and is represented in figure 719; but in general, the counter tails to present the same good effect as that of the true buhl, in which the drawing of the ornament is more effectually preserved; and in the internal cutting the pattern presents a thready or liny appearance.

Before concluding this part of the subject, it deserves to be noticed that in the more minute buhl works, the parts are not cut exactly square, but slightly bevilled, so that the pearl may be left a trifle larger than the interstices in the wood, to compensate for the saw-kerf, and make the fitting close as regards the true buhl. But this bevilling is prejudicial to the counter, as the line of junction in it becomes wider than usual; this defect is, however, considered to be less observable in the counter, and which is also the less valuable piece. The stringing*, or the straight and circular lines combined with pearl buhl work, are mostly of white metal, such as tin or pewter, and are inlaid with the routing gage.*

In buhl works no part of the material is wasted, and the whole of the work is cut at once. The circumstances are entirely different with the marquetry works now to be described, of which a slight specimen is represented in fig. 720, wherein the ground is ebony, and the flowers or other ornaments are made of coloured woods, as denoted by the annexed names. The dyewoods are used so far as they are available, and the greens, blues, and some other tints, are of holly stained to those colours. Each different leaf or coloured piece is produced one at a time, and mostly requires two cuttings, which may be accomplished in three several ways.

Fig. 720.

The ground Black Ebony. The green leaves. are of Holly stained green, notched, and engraved.

Buhl Cutter s Sawing Horse Continued 200174

* Buhl works of brass and wood, are sometimes made by stamping instead of As however the action of stamps and punches will be considered in a subsequent chapter, it need only be here observed, that the brass inlay, whether a honeysuckle or other ornament, is stamped out of sheet brass, and the wood veneer is stamped with the same tools; the brass honeysuckle is then inserted into the cavity in the wood as before. This method produces, so far as the nature of the materials will allow, an absolute identity of form, but it must be obvious the mode is not applicable to small patterns, as the punches then inflict too much injury on the wood; neither does the stamping admit of the unbounded choice of design attainable with the saw, as the punches are necessarily expensive and limited to their particular forms.

In the first mode, an engraving of the design is carefully pasted on the ground or counter, and cut out entirely; after which the several leaves are sawn out from different veneers, by aid of another impression of the engraving cut into pieces, and the leaves are inserted in their respective places; this mode requires extreme exactness, but admits of complete success.

In the second mode, the design is also pasted on the counter, which is then left entire: the leaves are cut out from woods of appropriate colours, and are then glued on the respective parts of the paper pattern on the counter. The projecting leaves are cut in, either singly or in groups, with the saw, which is just allowed to graze their external margins. The leaves are then all parted from the ground, and inserted in their respective apertures in the counter. By this, or the counterpart method, the fitting becomes more easy, and the cuts may be slightly bevilled, to improve the closeness of the joints.

In the third mode, the separate leaves to constitute the inlay, are cut out from the different coloured veneers, and glued in their appropriate positions on a sheet of paper. A sheet of white paper is also glued or pasted on the veneer to be used for the counter or ground; and further, a sheet of the blackened or camp paper, such as that used in the manifold writers, is also required.

The three are assembled together - at the bottom, the veneer with the paper upwards, then the camp paper, and at the top the leaves, the backs of which are then struck at every part, with several blows of a light mallet, so as to print their own impressions on the white paper. The printed apertures are then cut in the counter one at a time, so that the outer edge of the saw-kerf falls exactly on the margin of every aperture.

In this, or the third mode, the fitting of the parts may be made unexceptionably good, as the operation is not prejudiced by the unequal stretching of the paper, which is liable to occur when two copies of the engraved design arc employed, as in the Aral and second modes.*

The ribs and markings of the leaves in marquetry work, are made by cuts of the saw, or scratches of the graver, which become filled with the fine wood dust and glue.

Occasional assistance is derived from the judicious disposition of the grain of the wood; and the shading of the leaves, to give them roundness, is obtained by scorching their edges by holding them near a heated iron before they are laid down. In this maimer white roses and other flowers with many leaves are most successfully imitated in holly; the several leaves being cut out, scorched on the edge, and grouped together to form the flower, before incision. Ivory is used for very white flowers; and ivory, either white or stained, and also pearl shell, and other materials, are used for insects, and parts requiring additional brilliancy of effect.