gilding

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gilding,

process of applying a thin layer of real or imitation gold to a surface. The process is employed on wood, metal, ivory, leather, paper, glass, porcelain, and fabrics and is used to embellish the decorative elements, domes, and vaults of buildings. Gold, or a substitute, may be applied in leaf form to a surface prepared by a treatment of size, mercury, acid, or heat. The applied leaf is burnished or left matte. Mechanical and chemical gilding of metals has been largely superseded by electroplating (see platingplating,
application of a plate, or coat, of metal to a surface for decoration, reflection of light, protection against corrosion, or increased wearing quality. The practice is of ancient origin: gilding was developed early; the Romans soldered silver plates to articles of baser
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). The art of gilding is of ancient origin. It was lavishly employed in Egypt, Greece, and Rome and during the Renaissance and has been used continuously in Asia.
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Gilding

Gold leaf, gold flakes, or brass, applied as a surface finish.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

gilding

[′gild·iŋ]
(graphic arts)
Overlaying material with a thin layer of gold.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

gilding

1. Gold leaf, gold flakes, brass, etc., applied as a surface finish.
2. The surface so produced.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in classic literature ?
They were but coloured glass and gilding, but if you didn't know what they were made of, they looked just as well as what the ladies wore.
Dear, dear, what a place it looked, that Astley's; with all the paint, gilding, and looking-glass; the vague smell of horses suggestive of coming wonders; the curtain that hid such gorgeous mysteries; the clean white sawdust down in the circus; the company coming in and taking their places; the fiddlers looking carelessly up at them while they tuned their instruments, as if they didn't want the play to begin, and knew it all beforehand!
Mademoiselle Cormon was thought to be one of the richest persons in the town: the poor lad had therefore been led to love her by desires for material happiness, by the hope, long indulged, of gilding with comfort his mother's last years, by eager longing for the ease of life so needful to men who live by thought; but this most innocent point of departure degraded his passion in his own eyes.
When he had thoroughly washed himself, and had got the brine out of his hair, he anointed himself with oil, and put on the clothes which the girl had given him; Minerva then made him look taller and stronger than before, she also made the hair grow thick on the top of his head, and flow down in curls like hyacinth blossoms; she glorified him about the head and shoulders as a skilful workman who has studied art of all kinds under Vulcan and Minerva enriches a piece of silver plate by gilding it--and his work is full of beauty.
The first thing D'Artagnan perceived after the fine trees, the May sun gilding the sides of the green hills, the long rows of feather-topped trees which stretched out towards Compiegne, was a large rolling box, pushed forward by two servants and dragged by two others.