Ormolu derives from the French “or moulu”, ground gold, meaning the gold leaf used for gilding metals. Strictly speaking the term applies to cast bronze items which were subsequently finely chiselled and fire-gilt, but the word has come to be applied to all gilt-bronze objects including those which were dipped in acid and finely lacquered, and to a gold coloured alloy of copper, zinc and tin.
The high point of ormolu craftsmanship was in the latter half of the 18th Century when exquisite pieces were produced, the most common items being candlesticks, mounts for porcelain and furniture, fire dogs, clock cases, wall sconces and chandeliers.
A fine example of beautiful ormolu mounts
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