Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
438
CARVING—CARY

work, Oliver Wolcott in 1792 writing to Jedediah Morse, the geographer, that Carver was too unlettered to have written it, and that in his belief the book was the work of some literary hack. Careful investigation of Indian life and north-western history, notably by H. R. Schoolcraft in 1823, William H. Keating in his narrative of Major Long’s Expedition (1824), and Robert Greenhow in his History of Oregon (1844), showed a remarkable similarity between the Travels and the accounts of several French authorities, but these criticisms were scarcely noticed by later writers. Finally Professor E. G. Bourne, in a paper contributed to the American Historical Review for January 1906, proved beyond dispute that the bulk of Carver’s alleged narrative was merely a close paraphrase of Charlevoix’s Journal, La Hontan’s New Voyages to North America, and James Adair’s History of the American Indians. Professor Bourne’s theory is that the entire book was probably the work of the facile Dr Lettsom, whose personal relations with Carver are known to have been intimate, the “journal” alone, which constituted an inconsiderable part of the whole, having been, in part, founded on Carver’s random notes and recollections.

See also J. G. Godfrey, Jonathan Carver; His Travels in the North-west, 1766–1768 (No. 5 of the Parkman Club Publications, Milwaukee, Wis., 1896), and Daniel S. Durrie, “Captain Jonathan Carver and the Carver Grant,” in vol. vi. of the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Collections (1872).


CARVING. To carve (A.S. ceorfan: connected with Gr. γράφειν) is to cut, whatever the material; but apart from the domestic sense of carving meat, the word is more particularly associated with the art of sculpture. The name of sculptor (see Sculpture) is commonly reserved for the great masters of the art, especially in stone and marble, while that of carver is given to the artists or workmen who execute the subordinate decorations of architecture. The word is also specially applied to sculpture in ivory (q.v.) and its substitutes, and in wood (see Wood-Carving) and other soft materials (see also Gem.)


CARVING AND GILDING, two allied operations which formerly were the most prominent features in the important industry of frame-making. The craftsmen who pursued the occupation were known as “carvers and gilders,” and the terms still continue to be the recognized trade-name of frame-making, although very little of the ornamentation of frame-work is now accomplished by carving, and much of the so-called gilt ornament is produced without the use of gold. The trade has to do primarily with the frames of pictures, engravings and mirrors, but many of the light decorative fittings of houses, finished in “composition” and gilt work, are also entrusted to the carver and gilder. Fashion in picture frames, like all fashions, fluctuates greatly. Mouldings of the prevailing sizes and patterns are generally manufactured in special factories, and supplied in lengths to carvers and gilders ready for use. A large proportion of such mouldings, especially those of a cheaper and inferior quality, are made in Germany. What is distinctively known as a “German” moulding is a cheap imitation of gilt work made by lacquering over the surface of a white metallic foil. German artisans are also very successful in the preparation of imitation of veneers of rosewood, mahogany, walnut and other ornamental woods. The more expensive mouldings are either in wood (such as oak or mahogany), in veneers of any expensive ornamental wood, or real gilt.

A brief outline of the method of making a gilt frame, enriched with composition ornaments, may be taken as a characteristic example of the operations of the frame-maker. The foundation of such a frame is soft pine wood, in which a moulding of the required size and section is roughly run. To prevent warping the moulding is, or ought to be, made from two or more pieces of wood glued together. The moulding is “whitened up,” or prepared for gilding by covering it with repeated coatings of a mixture of finely powdered whiting and size. When a sufficient thickness of the whitening mixture has been applied, the whole surface is carefully smoothed off with pumice-stone and glass-paper, care being taken to keep the angles and curves clear and sharp. Were a plain gilt moulding only desired, it would now be ready for gilding; but when the frame is to be enriched it first receives the composition ornaments. Composition, or “compo,” is a mixture of fine glue, white resin, and linseed oil well boiled together, with as much rolled and sifted whiting added as makes the whole into a doughy mass while hot. This composition is worked in a hot state into moulds of boxwood, and so pressed in as to take up every ornamental detail. On its removal from the mould all superfluous matter is trimmed away, and the ornament, while yet soft and plastic, is laid on the moulding, and fitting into all the curves, &c., is fixed with glue. The ornamental surface so prepared quickly sets and becomes very hard and brittle. When very large bold ornaments are wanted for frames of unusual size they are moulded in papier mâché. Two methods of laying on gold—oil-gilding and water-gilding—are practised, the former being used for frames broken up with enrichments. For oil-gilding the moulding is prepared with two coats of fine thin size to fill the pores of the wood, and afterwards it receives a coat of oil gold-size, which consists of a mixture of boiled linseed oil and ochre. When this gold-size is in a “tacky” or “sticky” condition, gold-leaf is laid on and carefully pressed over and into all parts of the surface; and when covered with a coat of finish-size the gilding is complete. Water-gilding is applied to plain mouldings and all considerable unbroken surfaces, and is finished either “matt” or burnished. For these styles of work the mouldings are properly sized, and after the size (which for “matt” is red in colour and for burnish blue) is dry the gold is laid on with water. Matt-work is protected with one or two coats of finish-size; but burnished gold is finished only by polishing with an agate burnisher—no size or water being allowed to touch such surfaces. The mitring up of frames, the mounting and fitting up of paintings, engravings, &c., involve too many minor operations to be noticed here in detail; but these, with the cutting and fitting of glass, cleaning and repairing pictures and prints, and similar operations, all occupy the attention of the carver and gilder.


CARY, ALICE (1820–1871), and PHOEBE (1824–1871), American poets, were born at Mount Healthy, near Cincinnati, Ohio, respectively on the 26th of April 1820 and the 4th of September 1824. Their education was largely self-acquired, and their work in literature was always done in unbroken companionship. Their poems were first collected in a volume entitled Poems of Alice and Phoebe Carey [sic] (1850). In 1850–1851 they removed to New York, where the two sisters, befriended by Rufus W. Griswold (1815–1857), the quasi-dictator of American verse, and Horace Greeley, occupied a prominent position in literary circles. In 1868–1869 Alice Cary served for a short time as the first president of Sorosis, the first woman’s club organized in New York. Alice, who was much the more voluminous writer of the two, wrote prose sketches and novels, now almost forgotten, and various volumes of verse, notably The Lover’s Diary (1868). Her lyrical poem, Pictures of Memory, was much admired by Edgar Allan Poe. Phoebe published two volumes of poems (1854 and 1868), but is best known as the author of the hymn “Nearer Home,” beginning “One sweetly solemn thought,” written in 1852. Alice died in New York City on the 12th of February 1871, and Phoebe in Newport, Rhode Island, on the 31st of July of the same year. The collected Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary were published in Boston in 1886.

See Mrs Mary Clemmer Ames’s Memorial of Alice and Phoebe Carey (New York, 1873).


CARY, ANNIE LOUISE (1842–  ), American singer, was born in Wayne, Maine, on the 22nd of October 1842. She studied in Milan, and made her début as an operatic contralto in Copenhagen in 1868. She had a successful European career for several years, singing in Stockholm, Paris and London, and made her New York first appearance in 1870. She only once returned to Europe for a brilliant Russian tour, and until she retired in 1882, on her marriage to Charles M. Raymond, she was the most popular singer in America.


CARY, HENRY FRANCIS (1772–1844), English author and translator, was born at Gibraltar on the 6th of December 1772, the son of a captain in the army. He was educated at the grammar schools of Rugby, Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham,