Ormolu is the name given to a base metal, usually brass or copper that has been given a finishing coat of gold.
Antique ormolu is referred to as being mercury gilded. Mercury gilding gives a deep and beautiful quality, but is no longer, widely used today as the technique using mercury to fire the gold is highly toxic.
Today gold is applied to metal by electro-plating.
We also use gold leaf to restore items water gilded or oil gilded.
These two before and after photographs show the brilliance of the original gilding after many years of dust and grime are removed.
We understand that not everyone likes their antiques to look new so we can give just a light clean, removing any obvious marks such as paint or candle wax.