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Second Part.




When we speak of sculpture in connection with marble working, it should be understood that this only has reference to the sculpture of ornaments, of which Marble is susceptible; the sculptor, in this sense, might be called an ornamentor.

This is a specialty, but it often happens that the Marble worker who performs these functions, takes the name of sculptor. We shall not speak at much length respecting the sculpture of Marble ornaments.

72. What we have said has been rather to point out proper models to Marble workers and proprietors, by which to form and develop their tastes, than to impel them to devote themselves to sculpture. It is necessary to understand sculpture sufficiently to appreciate, if not to execute it. Medallions, capitals, friezes, flowers, rose work, acanthus leaves, the claws of griffins, lions, dragons, and heads of different animals, are nearly all which the ornamentor needs; and all these things are usually for chimney-pieces, or costly works which are purchased ready made, and are sculptured in the quarries, and are only ordered from the Marble yard to accord with some other ornament. This harmonizing depends as much on the Marble as upon the style of ornamenting.

The price of sculptured works depends on the talent of the artist, the delicacy and complication of the ornaments, the material of which they are made; for some Marbles are much more difficult to work than others; and, most especially, on their scarcity or abundance at the time of their execution. All these circumstances affect the price of sculpturing, and also the profits which the dealer can lawfully make. Another thing should also be taken into consideration, namely: the nature of the design given as a model.-An unusual design gives infinitely more trouble, and demands more time of the artist, than one which he is accustomed to execute.

There are also additional labors which should be taken into account, such as trials for the purpose of judging of the effect, transportation of parts of the work, the journeys of the workmen, the accidents which may happen, and the alterations which may be suggested by those giving the order. It often happens when the artist and purchaser have agreed upon a stipulated price, that they afterwards change the agreement which they had settled on.

On the other hand, if there is a chance of augmentation from the causes which we have just enumerated, there is also a risk of diminution, and even rejection, if the stipulated conditions are not precisely executed; and though men in a position to order great works would rarely wish to profit by such subterfuges, it is prudent to take every precaution to protect one's self from the chance of complaint.

There are also works which are so precious, by reason of the care and talent they demand, or by the name of the sculptor, that the same mantel, the same vase, or the same piece of marble executed by one artist, would have ten times the value of another, sculptured in the same style by an unknown or mediocre genius.

This difference in the value of ornaments applies also to the value of other works in Marble. It often happens that purchasers who cannot appreciate the difference, are astonished that two mantels of the same Marble, one is worth ten and the other fifty dollars, or that of two vases of the same dimensions, one is valued at one hundred and fifty, while its equal apparently, is worth but fifteen dollars.

73. In order to guard against deceiving one's self in valuations, whether in selling or in buying, it is necessary to take account of the labor, the material, the perfection of the ornaments. It is impossible to indicate probable prices, since the price to-day might be changed in a month or a year. Some usages of commerce authorize the merchant to reckon, in his valuation, the time which the article remains in his workshop, but this is a bad system. These are the chances of commerce to which we must submit, at the risk of confidence, and, perhaps, of credit.

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