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The best boxwood used in engraving is of a good yellow colour, of a fine close grain, that has been of a slow growth, clear of knots and any imperfections, such as cracks or flaws; the finest lines may be engraved on this wood, as it is both hard and tough, and, with care in printing the number of impressions that may be taken from an engraving on it would appear incredible.

Papillon, in his History of Engraving on Wood gives a specimen, from which, he states, there had been upwards of three hundred and seventy thousand impressions previously printed; and if the block had been carefully cleaned, and well printed, it would still have produced respectable impressions. Boxwood of a dull bad yellow colour, and of an open coarse grain, is not fit for engraving on, neither is wood that is of a blackish colour at the heart; for, in these cases, it has begun to decay, is brittle and tender, and if engraved on, the lines would not stand, but would fail in printing. Our principal supply of boxwood comes from the Levant, and is called Turkey box.

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