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The presentation below was created many years ago. You can now view scans of the book on our web site at on our web site, Stone Quarries and Beyond, at: The Marble-Workers’s Manual. Peggy B. Perazzo, February 2017.

Book Review: To view an 1856 book review of this book, please see: Manual of Marble and Marble Working.

This book is also available on Google Books and the Internet Archive – Texts.

The Marble-Workers’ Manual

Translated from the French by Mary Louise Booth.


The Marble-Workers’ Manual. Designed for the Use of Marble-Workers, Builders, and Owners of Houses. Containing practical information respecting marbles in general; their cutting, working, and polishing; veneering of marble; painting upon and coloring of marble; mosaics; composition and use of artificial marble, stuccos, cements, receipts, secrets, etc., etc. Translated from the French, By M. L. Booth, with an Appendix Concerning American Marbles. Sheldon, Blakeman & Co., New-York, 1856. Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1856, by Sheldon, Blakeman & Co., In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. J. J. Reed, printer and Stereotyper, 16 Spruce St., N.Y.


The art of the Marble worker may be classed among those employments possessing the most interest and variety. It demands of its votary the knowledge of design, that of public and private monuments, and of the natural history of Marbles. It demands, also, taste and patience without which the sculptor will be a bungler, instead of an artist. The contemporary of civilization, his hand is found in the works of every century. The more greatness has belonged to nations, the more occasions had the artist to celebrate it; and if the monuments of Greece and Rome had not been pillaged by the invasions of the barbarians, their sculptures would have borne witness to the flourishing state of the arts upon those two principal points of the globe.

Less ambitious at present, as great fortunes are rare, the artist must employ himself upon the ordinary wants of private life; and if a few public monuments still demand his chisel, these are but exceptional, and in large cities. This is a misfortune, yet it is not without its compensations. These large fortunes, by their infinite subdivision, have given rise to that middle class, who, on their part, take delight in what they call conveniences, and demand of the Marble worker chimney-pieces, tables, vases, tombs, and funereal monuments, panelings, pavements more or less decorated with stone and Marble, and even fountains, flag and curbstones, frontings for the outside of warehouses, and counters, slabs and fixtures for interiors, In this respect the Marble workers of our times differ from those who only devoted themselves to churches and palaces. It is, therefore, important to place within the reach of skilled workmen the information and models which they need, and which are here extracted from the best authorities, in order to encourage and stimulate good taste.

The Manual of the Marble worker has been long demanded. It has also been needed by those proprietors who themselves desire to superintend works for which they do not choose to employ an architect. They will find in this manual all the information necessary to instruct them. We have probably invented nothing, but we have endeavored to make the most complete possible analysis of the treatises upon ancient and modern Marble working, which until now have only been found in folios so costly and bulky, that it was very difficult to consult, and almost impossible to possess them.

Our little volume, on the contrary, presenting a clear and precise text, and free from all the scientific phrases which perplex the subject, will be in the possession of every person who seeks information respecting the art of Marble working. It will be understood; it will excite comparative ideas; it will draw forth essays; it will attract attention to this art; and our object will be gained if it restores the ateliers of the Marble workers some of the emulation which they seem to have lost.

It is divided into five parts.

  • The first treats of Marbles in general, of their qualities beauties, and defects.
  • The second treats of the use, cutting, and polishing of the different Marbles which are in commerce.
  • The third describes the processes designed to facilitate and perfect the labor of the workman.
  • The fourth part is devoted to plated Marbles, stuccos, mosaic paintings, and terraces-the whole being the practical experience of the most skillful Marble workers.
  • The fifth part comprises new processes, secrets, recipes, an essay on the manufacture of toy marbles, and various other matters pertaining to the art.

We have also endeavored to enlighten the workmen respecting their true interests, and to warn them against the mistaken principles which sometimes mislead them, by pointing out the right course, and inspiring in them, as well as in us, that love of truth and commercial integrity, without which no industrial establishment will ever gain the confidence of the public or secure honorable profits.

[Please note that you will not find the listed items on the listed pages as the current formatting has changed the page numbering. You can click on the linked listed item name in the Table of Contents and the link will take you to that portion of the text.]


Alabaster 17
Appendix-Concerning American Marbles 243
Artificial Marble 153
Artificial Marble and Stuccos 119
Atelier of the Marble worker 115
Breccias, modern 30
Cement, universal 114
Chimney-piece in malachite 218
Chinese Paintings, unalterable 167
Coloring of Marbles 81
Coloring of Artificial Marbles 228
Crab, the 84
Crane, the 83
Defects of Marbles 32
Designs for the execution of works 215
Different varieties of Marbles 15
Figures in relief upon Marbles 227
Granite 45
Imitations of Mosaics 205
Jack-screw, the 89
Jasper 40
Lapis 16
Mastics 109
Mastics for cementing Marbles 112
Masons' Mastic for Cisterns, etc 113
Marbles in general 11
Marble, ancient method for painting 221
Marble, Artificial 153
Marble, Artificial, composition of 155
Marble, Artificial, coloring of 228
Marbles, coloring of 31
Marbles, cleansing of 200
Marbles, cutting, working, and polishing of 50
Marbles, defects of 32
Marbles, different varieties of 15
Marbles, figures in relief upon 227
Marbles, imitation of 119
Marbles, modern 20
Marbles, machinery for raising 91
Marbles, machinery for sawing and molding 102
Marbles, machinery for sculpting or reducing 104
Marbles, manner of working 55
Marbles, toy, manufacture of 192
Marble working, ornamental 72
Marbles, painting upon 140
Marble, turned 229
Marble, veneering of 33
Mosaics 62
Mosaics by absorption 202
Mosaics, imitations of 205
Ornamental Marble work 72
Porphyries 16
Porphyries and Granites 39
Pozzolana 212
Pumice stone 213
Preface 3
Quartz 39
Recipes, various 201
Sculptor, the 72
Sculpture by Acids 75
Serpentine 16
Setting up works 59
Slabs of Marble, composition of 160
Slabs, casting of 161
Slabs, tannage of 163
Stuccos 120
Stuccos and Artificial Marbles 119
Stuccos, moldings in 137
Stuccos, pictures in 228
Tackle, the 88
Terraces, Venetian 71
Terraces, preparation of area 173
Terraces, working of Marble for 178
Terraces, Venetian, less costly 188
Turned Marble 229
Universal Cement 114
Veneering upon Marble 63
Veneering upon Wood and Stone 63
Vocabulary 232
Winch, the 86

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