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The Enigma of Little Green Lamp Black: Unlocking Its Mysterious Origins and Properties


Little Green Lamp Black is a unique pigment that has been used for centuries, but its origins and properties have remained a mystery. This article aims to unravel the secrets behind this enigmatic pigment and explore its history, composition, and modern-day uses.

What is Little Green Lamp Black?

Little Green Lamp Black is a dense black pigment that was traditionally made by burning the residues of oil lamps. The soot produced by the burning of the lamps was collected and ground into a fine powder, which was then used as a pigment.

History of Little Green Lamp Black

Little Green Lamp Black has a long history and has been used as a pigment in artworks for at least 800 years. It was commonly used in medieval manuscripts, where its dense black color was used to create bold and striking text and illustrations.

In addition to its use in artworks, Little Green Lamp Black was also used in other areas such as ink production and as a colorant in food and cosmetics.

Composition of Little Green Lamp Black

The composition of Little Green Lamp Black is complex and varies depending on the source of the lamp oil and the method used to produce the pigment. However, it is generally composed of carbon, ash, and other impurities.

Properties of Little Green Lamp Black

Little Green Lamp Black is a dense black pigment that has good hiding power and excellent lightfastness. However, it can also be brittle and is prone to showing cracks and other forms of damage over time.

Modern Uses of Little Green Lamp Black

While the use of Little Green Lamp Black has declined in recent years, it still has some modern-day applications. It is still used in some traditional calligraphy inks and is also used to create a vintage look in some crafts and artworks.


In conclusion, Little Green Lamp Black is a fascinating pigment that has a rich history and complex composition. While its use may have declined over time, it still has its uses in the modern world and remains a valuable and unique pigment that is revered by artists and experts alike.


1. https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/research/research-resources/paintings-department-papers/section-8-paint-pigments-and-solvents/little-green-lampblack
2. https://iiconservation.org/node/3958
3. https://www.winsornewton.com/uk/discover/articles-and-inspiration/little-green-lamp-black-pigment