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The first claims of the Artist and of the Inventor Ground of being for the adequate protection of the fruits of his this claim, industry, the second is for the removal of such fiscal impositions as tend to impede the progress of that industry, and in so far as the imposts complained of press unequally on different classes, both claims rest on the common ground of equal protection for property.
Such it is submitted are the excise duties on bricks, 1. Excise and the restrictions on their manufacture and form duty on
bricks. thence arising; those on papers of every kind; and those on glass. The first are injurious to architecture, as also is the window tax, to no small extent. Both obstruct the beauty and proportion of our buildings:
“The material,” says Mr. Papworth, in the evidence formerly quoted, “ of which brick and tile is composed being susceptible of receiving an improvement of mind upon it to great extent and variety, permission to make them in any form would greatly benefit architectural beauty ........ and modifications in the form of bricks have existed in all countries from early times except in England.*
* Sir Henry Wotton long ago (observing the want of taste in this respect in England) complained that there was generally “ too much of the material of bricks in the makers” of the taxing laws, he would have added bad be lived in our time.
The limitations they are subject to in England are a great impediment in the way of the development of art.” (Evid. I., 1298, 1301.)
Mr.Barnes, an architect of Norwich, is of opinion that, “if the duty were taken off altogether, it would greatly benefit art; but that at least the duty on ornamental bricks should be reduced to the level of those on common brick, and all limitation as to size abolished.” (Ib. 1425-7.)
The excise duty on bricks, exceeding the common size, in any dimensions, is 9s. per thousand; that on
common bricks, 5s. 6d. The difference of the tax, Evidence of operates to dissuade architects from the
use of Mr.Cocke- moulded or ornamental bricks in their buildings. rell, 1475. Mr.
The window tax operates injuriously by limiting the Barnes,
number of windows and restricting their size, causing 1424.
architects to experience very great difficulty in fitly adapting the size and proportions of their buildings, so
as not to infringe upon their prescribed limitations. And Mr. to this cause Mr. Papworth ascribes a great deal of the Papworth, 1404.
monotony and poverty of buildings in London.
2. Duties Besides the obvious operation of the paper duties to on paper.
the discouragement of Art, by seriously enhancing the cost
of prints, of illustrated books, of every kind of drawing Ev. of Mr. paper, and of periodical publications, they have the G. Morant effect of depressing the style of Art employed upon
the lower kind of stained papers. Of their effect upon engraving, Mr. J. C. Robertson says:
Drawing papers are seriously expensive, and inferior papers are Robertson, often used in copper-plate printing, when but for the tax (which is in
proportion to the weight), much finer papers would be used, better calculated to do justice to the engraving."
Of their effects upon the silk manufacture, Mr. Guillotte, an extensive manufacturer of Jacquard looms, says:
“One of the principal difficulties in the way of the improvement of the silk manufacture is the high duty on paper.
It makes the manufacturer unwilling to change his patterns. The difference of the
I attribute very
cost in England and in France is four to one.
The excise duties on glass tend greatly to obstruct
3. Duties the Art of glass painting, that of engraving, and that on glass. of decorative architecture in several of its most important branches.
The capabilities of Glass PAINTING are generally much underrated, and there is a common but very mis
ing. taken opinion, that much of the excellence of the finest specimens of this art we are acquainted with, is owing to a process which is now lost. In colour there are probably not more than one or two hues which we are unable to surpass, and in the power of producing all the effects of light and shadow we are greatly beyond our predecessors. Indeed, in this respect, taking into account the power of introducing real light, afforded by the transparency of glass, this branch of Art must have long ere this reached the highest range of excellence, but for the ruinous cost of experiments.
The following interesting statement details the experience on this point of Mr. Martin, while employed as a painter on glass : “In attempting improvements, we found,” he says,
" that the excise laws presented the greatest obstacle. We made some experiments on plate glass, and succeeded with them; but the expense, in consequence of the heavy duty, finally put an end to these experiments, as we could neither afford to purchase such expensive glass, nor to erect larger annealing kilns. I believe I was the only person who made the experiments on plate glass; they were supposed to be successful, only I could not afford to carry them on. If I could have made our erperiments duty free, I should have succeeded, for the plate glass is so thick, that it would be safe from being broken by ordinary means,* and it has besides the advantage, that plates can be obtained sufficiently large to obviate the necessity for those bars
• The great risk in painting on common glass.