Fire gilding

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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. 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; amalgam gilding; mercury gilding; dorure au feu (Fr.); Feuervergoldung (Deut.); vuurvergulden (Ned.)

Resources and Citations

  • P.T.Craddock, "Gilding", The Dictionary of Art Grove's Dictionaries, New York, 1996.
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996