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Plasterwork

Plasterwork is construction or ornamentation done with plaster, such as a layer of plaster on an interior or exterior wall structure, or plaster decorative moldings on ceilings or walls. This is sometimes called pargeting; the process of creating plasterwork, called plastering or rendering, has been used in building construction for centuries. For the art history of three-dimensional plaster, see stucco; the earliest plasters known to us were lime-based. Around 7500 BC, the people of'Ain Ghazal in Jordan used lime mixed with unheated crushed limestone to make plaster, used on a large scale for covering walls and hearths in their houses. Walls and floors were decorated with red, finger-painted patterns and designs. In ancient India and China, renders in clay and gypsum plasters were used to produce a smooth surface over rough stone or mud brick walls, while in early Egyptian tombs, walls were coated with lime and gypsum plaster and the finished surface was painted or decorated. Modelled stucco was employed throughout the Roman Empire.

The Romans used mixtures of lime and sand to build up preparatory layers over which finer applications of gypsum, lime and marble dust were made. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, the addition of marble dust to plaster to allow the production of fine detail and a hard, smooth finish in hand-modelled and moulded decoration was not used until the Renaissance. Around the 4th century BC, the Romans discovered the principles of the hydraulic set of lime, which by the addition of reactive forms of silica and alumina, such as volcanic earths, could solidify even under water. There was little use of hydraulic mortar after the Roman period until the 18th century. Plaster decoration was used in Europe in the Middle Ages where, from the mid-13th century, gypsum plaster was used for internal and external plaster. Hair was employed as reinforcement, with additives to assist set or plasticity including malt, beer and eggs. In the 14th century, decorative plasterwork called pargeting was being used in South-East England to decorate the exterior of timber-framed buildings.

This is a form of incised, moulded or modelled ornament, executed in lime putty or mixtures of lime and gypsum plaster. During this same period, terracotta was reintroduced into Europe and was used for the production of ornament. In the mid-15th century, Venetian skilled workers developed a new type of external facing, called marmorino made by applying lime directly onto masonry. In the 16th century, a new decorative type of decorative internal plasterwork, called scagliola, was invented by stuccoists working in Bavaria; this was composed of gypsum plaster, animal glue and pigments, used to imitate coloured marbles and pietre dure ornament. Sand or marble dust, lime, were sometimes added. In this same century, the sgraffito technique known as graffito or scratchwork was introduced into Germany by Italian artists, combining it with modelled stucco decoration; this technique was practised in antiquity and was described by Vasari as being a quick and durable method for decorating building facades.

Here, layers of contrasting lime plaster were applied and a design scratched through the upper layer to reveal the colour beneath. The 17th century saw the introduction of different types of internal plasterwork. Stucco marble was an artificial marble made using gypsum, pigments and glue. Stucco lustro was another a form of imitation marble where a thin layer of lime or gypsum plaster was applied over a scored support of lime, with pigments scattered on surface of the wet plaster; the 18th century gave rise to renewed interest in innovative external plasters. Oil mastics introduced in the UK in this period included a "Composition or stone paste" patented in 1765 by David Wark; this was a lime-based mix and included "oyls of tar and linseed" besides many other ingredients. Another "Composition or cement", including drying oil, was patented in 1773 by Rev. John Liardet. A similar product was patented in 1777 by John Johnson. Used by the architect Robert Adam who in turn commissioned George Jackson to produce reverse-cut boxwood moulds.

Jackson formed an independent company which still today produces composition pressings and retains a large boxwood mould collection. In 1774, in France, a mémoire was published on the composition of ancient mortars; this was translated into English as "A Practical Essay on a Cement, Artificial Stone, justly supposed to be that of the Greeks and Romans" and was published in the same year. Following this, as a backlash to the disappointment felt due to the repeated failure of oil mastics, in the second half of the 18th century water-based renders gained popularity once more. Mixes for renders were patented, including a "Water Cement, or Stucco" consisting of lime, bone ash and lime-water. Various experiments mixing different limes with volcanic earths took place in the 18th century. John Smeaton experimented with hydraulic limes and concluded that the best limes were those fired from limestones containing a considerable quantity of clay]ey material. In 1796, Revd James Parker patented Parker's "Roman Cement".

This was a hydraulic cement. It could be cast to form mouldings and other ornaments, it was however of an unattractive brown colour. Natural cements were used in stucco mixes during the 1820s; the popularisation of Portland cement changed the composition of stucco, as well as mortar, to a harder material. The developmen

Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk

Roger Bigod was 4th Earl of Norfolk and Marshal of England. He was the eldest son and heir of Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk by his wife Maud, a daughter of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, Marshal of England, his younger brother was Justiciar. After the death of his father in 1225, the young Roger became the ward of William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury. In 1228, although still under-age but by now married and in a second wardship to Alexander II of Scotland following his 1225 marriage to Alexander's sister Isabella, he succeeded to his father's estates including Framlingham Castle, he did not, receive his father's title until 1233. After the death without male heirs of the last of his mother's brothers, in 1246 Roger inherited the office of Marshal of England. Together with his younger brother Hugh Bigod, Justiciar, he was prominent among the barons who wrested control of government from the hands of King Henry III and assisted Simon de Montfort in the Second Barons' War, his first warder married him to Isabella of Scotland, daughter of William the Lion, King of Scotland, whereupon still under-age he became a ward of his new brother-in-law, Alexander II of Scotland until 1228.

Roger had no children, was succeeded by his nephew Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk. Morris, Marc; the Bigod Earls of Norfolk in the Thirteenth Century. Woodbridge

Peter B. Sweeny

Peter Barr Sweeny was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was the son of James Sweeny, who kept a hotel in Hoboken, New Jersey, Mary Sweeny, he attended Columbia College studied law, was admitted to the bar and practiced law with James T. Brady in New York City. In 1852, he was appointed Public Administrator, he was New York County District Attorney in 1858, elected on the Democratic ticket in November 1857, but resigned due to ill health. Sweeny was Park Commissioner under Mayor A. Oakey Hall, he became notorious as a central figure in the ring that controlled Tammany Hall, was depicted prominently in Thomas Nast's cartoons alongside Boss Tweed, Richard B. Connolly and A. Oakey Hall. With Tweed, he was a director of the Erie Railroad, which became "a gigantic highway of robbery and disgrace". Sweeny was Director of the Tenth National Bank, in which city funds were deposited. In Nast's cartoons and Sweeny were identified as "Tweeny and Sweed". Public indignation over the theft of millions of dollars by the Tweed ring led to the downfall of the Ring in the municipal election of November 7, 1871.

Sweeny resigned from public life the following day. In February 1872, Sweeny was indicted but the D. A.'s office decided for nolle prosequi, Sweeny went to Canada. In 1877, Sweeny paid $400,000 to New York City in exchange for forgiveness; the fact that the sum was paid in the name of his deceased brother, James M. Sweeney, a minor player in the financial operations of the Ring, was condemned in the press. On June 7, 1877, the Evening Post wrote, "Of course, nobody will be deceived by this disgraceful and offensive sham; the suit of the people was not against James M. Sweeny... It is known that he lived by the breath of his brother, that he was but a mere miserable tool". Sweeny died at the home of his son Arthur Sweeny, Assistant Corporation Counsel of New York City; the New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough, Stephen C. Hutchins and Edgar Albert Werner Candidates of the Different Parties for the November Election in NYT on October 28, 1857 PETER B. SWEENY DEAD AT 86 in NYT on September 1, 1911 Albert Bigelow.

Th. Nast, His period and his pictures. New York: The Macmillan Company