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Archil Purple








Archil may be regarded as the English, cudbear as the Scotch, and litmus
as the Dutch name for one and the same substance, extracted from
several species of lichens by various processes. These lichens, which
are principally collected on rocks adjacent to the sea, are cleaned and
ground into a pulp with water, treated from time to time with ammoniacal
liquor, and exposed with frequent agitation to the action of the
atmosphere. Peculiar principles existing in the lichens are, by the
joint instrumentality of the air, water, and ammonia, so changed as to
generate colouring matter, which, when perfect, is expressed. Soluble in
water and alcohol, this colouring principle yields by precipitation with
chloride of calcium a compound known as 'Solid French Purple', a pigment
more stable than the archil colours generally, but all too fugitive for
the palette.





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