gilding


gilding
/gil"ding/, n.
1. the application of gilt.
2. the gold leaf or other material with which something is gilded.
3. the golden surface produced by the application of gilt.
4. something used to create a deceptively pleasing, impressive, or alluring aspect or character.
[1400-50; late ME; see GILD1, -ING1]

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 the art of decorating the whole or parts of wood, metal, plaster, glass, or other objects with gold in leaf or powder form. The term also embraces the application of silver, palladium, aluminum, and copper alloys.

      The ancient Egyptians were master gilders, as evidenced by the overlays of thin gold leaf on their royal mummy cases and furniture. From early times the Chinese ornamented wood, pottery, and textiles with beautiful designs in gold. The Greeks not only gilded wood, masonry, and marble sculpture but also fire-gilded metal, by applying a gold amalgam to it and driving off the mercury with heat, leaving a coating of gold on the metal surface. From the Greeks, the Romans acquired the art that made their temples and palaces resplendent with brilliant gilding.

      Certain basic procedures are pertinent to all types of gilding. For example, the ground to be gilded must be carefully prepared by priming. Flat paints, lacquers, or sealing glues are used, according to the nature of the ground material. Metals subject to corrosion may be primed, and protected by red lead or iron oxide paints. After the ground has been prepared and is thoroughly dry, the gilder lays out his design on the ground with pencil or chalk. To create an adhesive surface, the area to be gilded is sized. The type of size used depends on the kind of surface to be gilded and on whether it is desirable for the size to dry quickly or slowly. When the size has dried enough so that it just adheres to the fingertips, it is ready to receive or retain the gold leaf or powder.

      Beating gold into leaves as thin as 1280,000 inch (0.00009 millimetre) is done largely by hand, although machines are used to some extent. The beaten leaves are packed between tissue leaves of small books. Gold leaf may be rolled onto the sized surface from the tissue book. Generally, however, the gilder detaches the amount needed with a pointed tool, picks it up with a gilder's brush, and transfers it to the design. The leaf is held to the tip by static electricity, which the gilder generates by brushing the tip gently over his hair. When the gilding is completed, the leaf-covered area is pounced with a wad of soft cotton to burnish the gold to a high lustre. Leaf gold may be powdered by being rubbed through a fine-mesh sieve. Powdered gold is so costly, however, that bronze powders have been substituted almost universally. Metallic powders may be pounced on a sized surface with a soft material such as velvet or may be combined with a lacquer or with a chemical base and then applied as metallic paint.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gilding — is the art of applying a thin layer of gold, simulated gold, or other metal to a surface. Products employed may be real gold leaf ranging in karats from 9 up to 24; imitation leaf composition gold, Dutch metal leaf, aluminum leaf, copper leaf;… …   Wikipedia

  • gilding — action of gilding, mid 15c.; golden surface produced by gilding, 1630s; from prp. of GILD (Cf. gild) (v.) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Gilding — Gild ing (g[i^]ld [i^]ng), n. 1. The art or practice of overlaying or covering with gold leaf; also, a thin coating or wash of gold, or of that which resembles gold. [1913 Webster] 2. Gold in leaf, powder, or liquid, for application to any… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gilding — [gil′diŋ] n. 1. a) the art or process of applying gold leaf or a substance like gold to a surface b) the substance so applied 2. an outward appearance covering unpleasant facts, reality, etc …   English World dictionary

  • gilding — [[t]gɪ̱ldɪŋ[/t]] N UNCOUNT Gilding is a layer of gold or gold paint that is put on something. The gilding is extremely lavish …   English dictionary

  • Gilding — Gild Gild (g[i^]ld), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Gilded} or {Gilt} (?); p. pr. & vb. n. {Gilding}.] [AS. gyldan, from gold gold. [root]234. See {Gold}.] 1. To overlay with a thin covering of gold; to cover with a golden color; to cause to look like gold …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gilding — Recorded in several forms as shown below, this is an English surname. It derives from the pre 7th century personal name Golding, recorded as Goldinc in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The development is from the original personal name Golda ,… …   Surnames reference

  • gilding — /ˈgɪldɪŋ/ (say gilding) noun 1. the application of gilt. 2. the gold leaf or other material with which anything is gilded. 3. the golden surface produced. 4. any deceptive coating or aspect used to give a fine appearance. {gild1 + ing1} …   Australian English dictionary

  • gilding — gild ► VERB 1) cover thinly with gold. 2) (gilded) wealthy and privileged: gilded youth. ● gild the lily Cf. ↑gild the lily DERIVATIVES gilder noun gilding …   English terms dictionary

  • gilding — noun a) The art of applying gold leaf to a surface b) Gold leaf …   Wiktionary


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