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Related to ormolu: gilt
ormolu(ôr`məlo͞o), finish used on metal to imitate gold. It is employed chiefly for furniture mountings. The term originally applied to a coating of ground gold and was extended to alloys of copper and zinc. Ormolu mountings were characteristic of 18th-century furniture and attained their highest artistic and technical development in France, especially in the work of Charles Cressent, Pierre Gouthière, and Jacques Caffieri. Ormolu was produced on a large scale in England, with Matthew Boulton the chief manufacturer. Workmanship deteriorated in the 19th cent.
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1. Gold crushed with mercury to form a paste.
2. An article or ornamental appliqué of bronze, first coated with such paste, then heated to evaporate the mercury, leaving pure gold evenly and securely deposited.
3. Any metal or substitute finished to resemble mercury-gilded bronze.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
a. a gold-coloured alloy of copper, tin, or zinc used to decorate furniture, mouldings, etc.
b. (as modifier): an ormolu clock
2. gold prepared to be used for gilding
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005