Informational Site NetworkInformational Site Network
  Home - Chromatography - Color Value - Aesthetics - Photography

Chica Red

Is extracted from the leaves of a tree growing in central and southern
America. A sample examined by Mr. O'Neill was in small irregular lumps,
of a bright scarlet colour, adherent to the tongue like indigo, and
taking a metallic polish of a greenish reflection, when rubbed against a
hard smooth body, as the finger nail. So far it seems to be only
employed by the Indians as a paint for their bodies, mixed up with fatty
matters. It has doubtless been used in painting: for in the old churches
of those parts of America there is a good deal of red colour, which
remains brilliant and sound after a couple of centuries; and from the
appearance of it, and such accounts as can be collected, it is probably
this chica. A portion was forwarded to an eminent artist in England, to
ascertain whether it would be of any value as a pigment in the fine
arts. His report is stated to have been unfavourable; and the chica,
contained in a gourd labelled "Chica d'Andiguez," was then tested as to
its capabilities for dyeing and printing. Fine and durable reds were
found to be produced by it upon woollen, equal to those of cochineal. To
mordanted calico the shades imparted were dull and heavy, but very
solid. Chica is described as a very strong colouring matter, a small
quantity dyeing a large amount of cloth, and as more nearly resembling
lac lake than anything else.

No information existing as to its price, or the quantity that could be
obtained if it were wanted, chica remains in the state of an unapplied
product. If it really possess, however, the durability assigned to it,
this red is worth attention. With regard to the artist's disapproval,
the chica sent him may not have been properly or sufficiently prepared
to adapt it for a pigment.

Next: Coal-tar Colours

Previous: Antimony Red

Add to Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network

Viewed 1992