Design for a mirror back featuring Venus in her shell, c 1870-1875.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Unsigned pencil drawing with monochrome wash. The mirror was to be constructed from ivoride at Daniel Spill's Ivoride Works, Homerton, London. Ivoride is a form of Parkesine, the first mouldable plastic, invented by Alexander Parkes (1813-1890) in 1855. As its name suggests, it was used to imitate ivory and was also known as Ivorine, Ivorite and French Ivory. It was used as an inlay for musical instruments and for the manufacture of decorative objects. Daniel Spill (1832-1877) established his factory in the mid 1870s, producing Ivoride and Xylonite, a plastic devised by Spill himself. Dimensions: 285mm x 200mm.