Antique Gilt Bronze Jewellery Casket & Miniature c.1870

GBP 625.00

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Object Description

This is a beautiful antique gilded ormolu serpentine shaped jewellery casket, Circa 1870 in date.

The top, front, sides and back are beautifully cast and tooled in gilt bronze. The rope outline frames delicate leaf work borders, the filigree decoration to the lid enclosing a finely painted miniature portrait bust of a young lady.

The interior is lined with the original cream velvet and is ready to store your precious items and it stands on elegant cast toupie feet.

It is a lovely piece which is functional as well as being highly decorative.

Condition:
In excellent condition, the interior fabric shows signs of wear commensurate with age and use, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 5 x Width 16 x Depth 12

Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 inches x Width 6 inches x Depth 5 inches

Ormolu
(from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as ‘gilt bronze’.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).

Our reference: 07975WI

Object Details

  • material
  • dimensions
    W:16 x H:5 x D:12 centimeters
  • period
  • year
    Circa 1870

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