The Ten Books on Architecture, 7.12

Vitruvius  translated by Morris Hicky Morgan

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White Lead, Verdigris, and Artificial Sandarach

12It is now in place to describe the preparation of white lead and of verdigris, which with us is called “aeruca.” In Rhodes they put shavings in jars, pour vinegar over them, and lay pieces of lead on the shavings; then they cover the jars with lids to prevent evaporation. After a definite time they open them, and find that the pieces of lead have become white lead. In the same way they put in plates of copper and make verdigris, which is called “aeruca.”

2White lead on being heated in an oven changes its colour on the fire, and becomes sandarach. This was discovered as the result of an accidental fire. It is much more serviceable than the natural sandarach dug up in mines.

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