Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trade Tips: Gilding Techniques

Tony and I are trying something new - video blog clips! We shot our first "Trade Tips" clip yesterday. It is a quick overview covering tricks Tony has taught me to identity mercury gilding versus electrolytic bath gilding of brass mounts. The topics will vary, this one being a bit more advanced, but will also include some furniture and decorative arts basics for both antiques and new designs we are working on.

We know we need to work on the our production quality (!) and my "screen-presence" needs to be improved to say the least, but we hope you enjoy this and find it useful!

Hope you are enjoying the last bits of summer.


  1. Thank you. Very educational, (and helpful).

  2. I thought it an excellent presentation, Mr Victoria, and one that made me want to dismantle my Directoire clock to look for what you are talking about.

    The Amsterdam antiquaire from whom we bought it before we left that city told us it had been mercury gilded and that in France at the time that type of gilding was done by condemned prisoners who one way or the other would die. Perhaps apocryphal, but a good tale over dinner.

    As to screen presence - if it ain't broke .... etc. As I say, I thought it an excellent production and one I would be glad to have my students link to.

  3. Thank you very much Columnist and Blue. I'm not sure about the prisoners, Blue, but it is entirely possible. My father actually spent some time studying at metal workers in Paris when he was younger. According to him, an interesting, and very French, way modern gilders would get around the prohibition of mercury gilding was that the law stipulated that "no employee" could be involved in the process - so the owners of the shops would occasionally do it themselves. Now that is dedication to your trade...

    And thank you for suggesting the site to your students!

  4. great! I will be waiting for the next install. pgt

  5. Thank you PGT! We plan to film the next 2 segments tomorrow - a 2 part piece on chair basics. Hope you are enjoying the last bits of summer!