PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Mummies, Mucus and Other Pigments Past

Friday, July 5, 2013

More items for Coating Materials

Comment | More

The stuff of cattle urine, snail mucus, and mummies, it’s not hard to see why some paint pigments of the past fell by the wayside.

While some of these brilliant colors were made from pretty disgusting ingredients and are mostly extinct, they remain intriguing, Hyperallergic.com reports in a fascinating new rundown.

Expensive and Dangerous

One paint color is said to have possibly played a role in Napoleon's death. Scheele's Green, which adorned the emperor's living room, contained the very toxic cupric hydrogen arsenite, Hyperallergic reports. Traces of arsenic, possibly from the paint's vapors, were found in his hair.

lapiz lazuli
The National Gallery, London

Blue-hued Lapis Lazuli was the most expensive pigment ever created. It can still be found at a store in New York City, but five grams will set you back $360.

Lapis Lazuli is said to be the most expensive pigment ever created, according to Hyperallergic.com.

Made from ground-up precious Lapis Lazuli stones, the pigment dates to the sixth century in Afghanistan. The rich blue became popular with the wealthy during the Renaissance. This pigment can still be purchased at the Kremer Pigmente store in Manhattan for $360 for five grams.

Nature and Fables

A predatory snail found off the shore of Phoenicia's Tyre gave pigment to the color Tyrian Purple, the article reports. Said to become even more beautiful with sun exposure, the color nevertheless eventually disappeared because it took too many snails to make.

ancient paint colors
Wikimedia

A burial shroud of Charlemagne from the early ninth century was made from Byzantine silk and colored with Tyrian Purple, made from snail mucus.

Then there was Dragon's Blood, spun as a mix of dragon's blood and elephant's blood. The pigment was actually made from a Southeast Asian tree, but its fabled background about an epic battle between an elephant and a fire-breathing monster was irresistible to buyers.

Maya Blue is commonly found in artifacts of the Maya and Aztec. Known to be a mix of dye from the indigo plant and natural clay, its durability remained a mystery until recently, when chemists discovered that careful variations in the preparation temperatures held the secret to the color's long life.

Just Plain Gross

Pre-Raphaelites were said to be fond of a pigment called Mummy Brown. The ingredient? Real mummies! The color was made with cat and human Egyptian mummies that were ground up and mixed with white pitch and myrrh. Alas, however, once the mummies ran out, so did the paint.

Today, the color can be recreated with a mixture of kaolin, quartz, geothite and hematite.

Mummy Brown
The Louvre

Real, ground-up mummies were used to create the brownish pigment of Mummy Brown.

And what mummies couldn't pull off, cattle pee did. Cattle in the Bihar province of India were said to be fed only mango leaves and water; their urine was then used to produce the vivid Indian Yellow.

   

Tagged categories: Architectural history; Color; Color trends; Pigments

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Sherwin-Williams
Sherwin-Williams Oil & Gas App

Our coatings and linings expertise available 24/7, allowing you to explore the best Sherwin-Williams solutions for oil refineries, shale drilling sites, and offshore. Android users
click here. Download today!


Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotachar JF750 - The Time Saving Solution

The only mesh free solution for jet fire scenarios. Jotachar saves installation time and material costs - the next generation of epoxy passive fire protection.


Hempel (USA) Inc.
Trusted worldwide for advanced protective coatings

Trusted worldwide
for advanced
protective, coatings
–Full range of 
  advanced coatings
–Optimised application
–Fast, reliable service  worldwide. Contact us at oilandgas@hempel.com


Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com


Carboline Company
Fireproofing Solutions

Pyroclad® X1 Thermo-Lag® Pyrocrete® – protecting against hydrocarbon and jet fires, explosions, and cryogenic spills.


PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
We Protect and Beautify the World

PPG is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.


Absolute Equipment/Grand Rental Station
TIER 4 EQUIPMENT

We have Tier 4 Equipment including Air Compressors & Generators for Sale & Rent! Your job may now require Tier-4. www.absoluteequip.com or Call 412-931-6655.


Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement

Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!
1(800)-252-7869


Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable


HoldTight Solutions Inc.
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS

Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us