Bottle of 'smalt', late 18th century.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm

Bottle of 'smalt', late 18th century.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Smalt is an artist's pigment which was used extensively in the 17th and 18th centuries, after which it was superseded by cobalt blue. It is a potasium cobalt silicate, sometimes with aluminium and other impurities such as arsenic. The source of the blue colour was not known at the time.

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