A gold gilding technique in which an amalgam of gold with mercury is applied to a metal, such as copper or silver, then the metal is heated to flash volatilize the mercury and deposit a thin layer of gold. Amalgam gilding, or fire gilding, has been used since at least 300 CE in China. In most regions, it was replaced in the mid-19th century by electrogilding.
Synonyms and Related Terms
fire gilding; mercury gilding; dorure à l'amalgame (Fr.); Feuervergoldung (Deut.); dorado a la amalgama (Esp.); vuurvergulden (Ned.); amalgama dourada (Port.)
Sources Checked for Data in Record
- David C. Scott, Metallography and Microstructure of Ancient and Historic Metals, The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, 1991
- Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
- George Savage, Art and Antique Restorer's Handbook, Rockliff Publishing Corp, London, 1954