Jump to: navigation, search
Red sable Conservator Brushes


The reddish-brown hair from the tails of an Eurasian mink, Mustela siberica and Mustela lutreola, native to Siberia, Manchuria, China, and Japan. Artist brushes made from kolinsky tail hairs are called kolinsky or red sable brushes. These valuable brushes have excellent resilience and spring. The hair obtained from the male animals in winter is most prized for the brushes because it is longer and more tapered. To decrease costs, the long hairs are sometimes mixed with shorter hairs from the female minks or even with ox ear hair or synthetic fibers. These mixed fibers often have an unnatural bright orange tint (Z. Pinney 1999).

Kolinsky hair

Synonyms and Related Terms

kolinsky sable; red sable; red Tartar marten; Siberian mink; China mink; kolinski; Mustela siberica; Mustela lutreola

Other Properties

Brownish red hair with yellowish tint; Length ranges from 1.75 to 2.25 inches

Hair tapers at both ends to a needle sharp point at tip; the belly is about one-third of the hair's length from the butt end.

Density 1.0-1.13
Kolinsky hair

Additional Information

° Zora Sweet Pinney, 'A Handle on the Terms used for Artists' Brushes', unpublished glossary, 1999

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • F. Kidd, Brushmaking Materials, Bristish Brush Manufacturers, London, 1957
  • Zora Sweet Pinney, 'A Handle on the Terms used for Artists' Brushes', unpublished glossary, 1999
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Edward Reich, Carlton J. Siegler, Consumer Goods: How to Know and Use Them, American Book Company, New York City, 1937
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com Comment: "kolinsky" Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. [Accessed October 16, 2003].
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

Retrieved from "http://cameo.mfa.org/index.php?title=Kolinsky&oldid=50820"