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tline3open  Vermeil, Silver Gilt, Gold Gilding, etc.

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Author Topic:   Vermeil, Silver Gilt, Gold Gilding, etc.
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-10-2018 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Vermeil, Silver Gilt, Gold Gilding is a technique for creating a layer of gold on a metal object.

There are many different methods for gilding. Some are additive (gold applied) and others are depletion (gold revealed) gilding. Terms/methods/processes: Fire Gilding, Mercury Gilding, Wash gilding, Electro plating, mechanical gilding, gold leaf or powder, hammering on gold foil or gold leaf, Cold gilding, Wet gilding and ?. I expect I have left some out and included methods which are not common to metalsmithing.

When looking at flatware, I think I can recognize the visual difference between Mercury Gilding and electroplate gold. But I really don't know. My preference is the technique found on older silver; which was most likely Mercury Gilding.

Perhaps our silversmith members could expand our knowledge on both past and present day gilding.

Also perhaps those of you with good comparative examples in your collection would share some side by side photographic examples.

The forums has lot of threads about gilding. When time permits, I will add links to those threads/posts.

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vathek

Posts: 961
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 10-11-2018 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do know that mercury gilding was a toxic process.

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asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 10-11-2018 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An interesting observation (unfortunately I have no pictures of this) about 5 years ago, I got a small group from an old collection, splendid stuff! But anyway, the two side by side, a Gorham Saxon Stag shell bowl spoon, gilt bowl and a Duhme bull (also coin) pierced ladle also gilt bowl.

Side by side, the Gorham was really yellow, but the Duhme piece had a VERY reddish, rose gold look. Very interesting to see side by side. Alone I probably wouldn't have noticed, but they came from the same lot so they were together.

Anyone else ever notice a variation like this?

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asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 10-11-2018 11:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If anyone is interested, the next time they're out, I can shoot a picture.

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Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 10-11-2018 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Different alloys of gold create different colors, which the craftspeople of the time took advantage of. I believe you could even order your silver with different tints of gilding. There was a discussion of this on a thread about my Parcel gilded ice cream set, which are gilded in three different colors of gold: yellow, greenish, and rose. I'll see if I can find the thread. Rob (agleopar) has some experience of this as a working silversmith.

Tarnish can also affect the apparent color of the gilding.

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Polly

Posts: 1843
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 10-11-2018 12:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's the thread about the ice cream spoons. I misremembered--it's two different colors of gilding, not three.
Parcel gilded ice cream set

And asheland, OF COURSE we want to see photos of your stag spoon and bull ladle!!

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asheland

Posts: 856
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 10-12-2018 10:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Next time they are out, I'll post them here. smile

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Scott Martin
Forum Master

Posts: 11202
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 10-13-2018 01:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I still am busy so I haven't had the time to go thru all the possible subject related posts/threads.

I had completely forgotten and don't remotely recall the following post (old age I guess) ..... because its new to me:

"Gilding by fire or mercury"

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