STO E -C UTTI NG. Tho seal-engraver's wheel consists of a light frame ballasted below to keep it firm, with two uprights about eighteen inches in length and eight inches between. Betwixt the two is a small spindle. This turns at the one end on a screw or pivot, sometimesof cornelian ; the shoulder is kept in its p!ace by a neat iron clamp, it is steadied by a piece of rag wrapped round it, and enclosed in the collar. The spindle is terminated by a small spike of iron of about an inch long, ending in a little circular SAM or button, from a tenth up to half an inch in diameter. To this, powdered corundum mixed with oil is from time to time applied, while it is spun round with a bow. The engraver holds the seal up betwixt his fingers and thumb, and a sweep or two of the bow causes a mark on the seal. This is deepened and extended as desired, the larger discs being employed for long straight strokes. The work turned out is by no means very fine, but the celerity of execution is surpassing. Diamond dust is very rarely used in India, corundum being the chief material employed in polishing gems, marbles, and metals. For sharpening swords or burnishing metal, it is generally used like a whetstone or burnisher ; for polishing gems, it is either made up into a lap with lac or into a paste with oil or grease. For polishing marble or other stone it is used in two forms ; the first of these is a cake of about eight inches long, three across, and two deep. This is used by an individual in the hand. For heavier purposes, a cake a foot square or so is employed, placed in a frame. Two men work at this, and the reducing process is very rapidly accomplished by it ; it is, in fact, a file with a lac body and corun dum teeth. The diamonds seen amongst native gentry are almost all cut in Europe, and the principal gems cut in India are the lapis-lazuli, rubies, emeralds, opals, garnets, and siliceous gems. The chief articles into which these are wt ought are paper-weights, knife-handles, minia ture-sized cups and saucers, tables for snuff-boxes, brooches, necklaces, bmcelets, pins, buttons, and studs. The polish of Cambay stones isnot such as pleases the eye of the British lapidary ; yet they are so cheap that they might be expected to become a considerable article of commerce. They might be built up into mosaics for work-tables, into chess-boards, and other elegant articles of furniture,—the chief part of the work being per formed here, where labour is cheap, the final finish being given at home. The Cambay agates equal the finest Scotch pebbles in beauty ; they gener ally exceed them in size, and may be had for a mere fraction of the price.
Working in stone, polishing the hardest sur faces, engraving the surfaces with imperishable records, and sculpturing stone into various forms, even excavating gigantic temples out of the solid mountains, are branches of sculpture, statuary, and engraving to which Hindus have paid at tention from the earliest times; and their struc tures are conspicuous for the exquisite polish and glasa-like appearance of some of the hardest rocks. They use a small steel chisel and an iron
mallet. The chisel, in length, is not more than six incites, and it tapers to a round point like a pencil. The iron mallet does not weigh more than a few pounds. It has a head fixed on at right angles to the handle, with only one striking face, which is formed into a tolerably deep hollow, and lined witlt lead. With such simple instru ments they formed, fashioned, and scooped the granite rock which forms the stupendous fortress of Dowlatabad, and excavated the wonderful caverns of Ellom and Ajnnta. The traces of the pointed chisel are still visible on the rocks of Dowlatabad, as they are also on some of the woiks of Egypt. The stone having been brought to a smooth surface, it is next dressed with water in the usual way, and is then polished in the follow ing manner :—A block of granite, of considerable size, is rudely fashioned into a shape like the end of a large pestle. The lower face of this is hollowed out into a cavity, and this is filled with a mass composed of pounded corundum stone, mixed with melted lac. This block is moved by means of two sticks, or pieces of bamboo, placed on each side of its neck, and bound together by cords, twisted and tightened by sticks. The weight of the whole is such as two workmen can easily manage. They seat themselves upon, or close to, the stone they aro to polish, and by moving the block backwards and forwards be tween them, the polish is given by the friction of the mass of lac and corundum. The same mate rials are employed in polishing agate beads and bracelets, elegantly - shaped cups, or models of cannon. The ag,ate stones are first fixed on a steel spike, and there roughly rounded with an iron hammer, and then polished with a composition of lac and corundum variously applied. The holes are bored with a steel drill, tipped with a small diamond. Cups and saucers, and similar hollow articles, are wrought, according to the required external shape, on the steel spike, and a rough polish given on the rough polishing-stones. The cavity is formed by the diamond-tipped drill to the depth of one-fourth of an inch all over the space, until it exhibits a honeycombed appear ance ; the prominent places round the holes are then chipped away, and this process is repeated until the depth and form desired are obtained. They are then polished upon prepared moulds of convex forms, and of the same composition as the polishing-plates which are attached to the turn mg-whee I.