E-Museum of Pyrographic Art

Hall of Antique Pyrography

Welcome! to the salon exhibit of

Notes on Antique Pyrography
by Richard P. Withers

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Curator's Notes:

In the fall of 1999, Richard Withers graciously forwarded some notes he had written for display in the E-Museum.

It is very gratefully that I acknowledge them here and offer them to you as an additional resource in your research and discovery of the technique of pyrography.

If you have any suggestions, comments, or information that would aid in this research, please e-mail the Curator.

There is in existence a book titled "A Handbook of Pyrography" by Mrs M. Maude. Published in 1891. Primarily an advertisement for the Vulcan Burnt Wood Etching Machine made by Abbot Bros of Southall, England.

Fuel for the Vulcan machine was Benzoline or petroleum spirit. Suppliers, William Whiteley, Shoolbred & Co.

Another book titled "Tunbridge & Scottish Souvenir Woodware" by Edward and Eva Pinto. This book has ISBN 0 7135 17727 and is published in London by G.Bell & Sons in 1970.

Edward and Eva Pinto donated their extraordinary collection of woodwork, treen, and pyrography to the Birmingham City Museum, England. It contains, among other works:

The works of Joseph Smith. He was a copyist of famous 17th Century masterpieces and produced a burning of John Jeffreys, Earl of Camden, on sycamore dated 1816, Tigers, 1823 and several portraits of famous people of the day.

R. Marshall, 1834, did relief work on charred wood including an early advert (!) for the Post Office, some Christmas scenes, and many religious pieces.

E.H.G. did miniatures, also charred and relief carved on sycamore.

Wilhelm De Rottermund was active in Belgium at about the same time, and his works include four copies of famous Russian battles.

There are two altarpieces of note in England: one at Oxford University and one at Cambridge. Each was burnt by the chaplains incumbent at the time.

There is also a major piece of "pokerwork" at the village church at Aberhafesp, near Newtown in Wales. The panels are 10 ft. high and cover the entire back wall of the church. They contain copies of paintings by Leonardo, Rafael, Michelangelo and other artists, and quotations from the Bible. They date from 1910 and were done by a "grateful parishioner."

—Richard Withers

Note that Richard has his own website linked here. It has a new address, which is www.richardwithers.co.uk/. These notes were announced in the January 2000 issue of the Woodcarvers Online Magazine, linked here.

You are leaving the salon of
Richard P. Withers:
Notes from his research on
Antique Pyrography.

You can return to the

Antique Hall

or visit one of the following:

Pyrographic Art Exhibit Halls:

Portraits and Paintings

Decorative and Applied Art


Traditional and Folk Art

Children's Pyrographic Art

Special Pyrographic Art

The Book Store and E-Museum Library

Pyrography Tools and Techniques

Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.
Please e-mail the E-Museum Curator

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© 2000, 2004, 2007, 2009 Kathleen M. Garvey Menéndez, all rights reserved.
Last updated 2 November 2009.