Silver leaf

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MFA# 67.965


Headdress and bouquet
MFA# 52.1264

A very thin, metallic foil of silver. Silver leaf was used as early as medieval times for decoration on manuscripts and later on paintings and sculpture. It was thicker than gold leaf and easier to handle but it required a lacquer coating to prevent tarnishing (Kuhn 1986).

Metal with silver foil
MFA#: 2002.162

Synonyms and Related Terms

silver leaf; feuille d'argent (Fr.); Blattsilber (Deut.); hoja de plata (Esp.); bladzilver (Ned.); folha de prata (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • R. J. Gettens, G.L. Stout, Painting Materials, A Short Encyclopaedia, Dover Publications, New York, 1966
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Conservation Support Systems, Catalog, 1997

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