Thakeham Furniture - Antique Furniture Shop, Petworth, West Sussex, UK

RECENT ACQUISITIONS

 
 

Welcome to our shop, Thakeham Furniture, in Petworth, West Sussex, UK. Established in 1987 by Tim and Belinda Chavasse, we are a small family firm specialising in fine English antique furniture from the Georgian and Victorian periods. We stock a good range of 18th and 19th century antique furniture with an emphasis on originality, good colour and patina. Browse our extensive, user friendly website, known as one of the best antique furniture websites in the UK. Thakeham Furniture are members of LAPADA [The London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association], so you can purchase with confidence, as we follow a strict code of practise

 

THAKEHAM BLOG

What Is Ormolu?

Posted on March 21, 2017 by Belinda Chavasse

 

Ormolu mountings are fine quality cast mounts typical of French or ‘French style’ antique furniture.  They were also used for the decorative mountings of clocks, lighting devices, and porcelain.

Ormolu (from French or moulu, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold to a mount cast in bronze. The French refer to this technique as bronze doré, which is used to this day - though the item may be merely painted with a gold-tone paint

The manufacture of ormolu employs a process known as mercury gilding or fire gilding. A solution of nitrate of mercury was applied, 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. Most mercury gilders died by the age of 40 due to exposure to the harmful mercury fumes.

This process has generally been supplanted by the electroplating of gold over a nickel substrate, which is more economical and less dangerous!

Amongst new stock this month is this Antique marquetry centre table. The inlaid floral decoration is perfectly set off by the crisp, bold ormolu mounts.

 

 

 
 
 
 

Tim, Belinda & Harriet Chavasse
Thakeham Furniture Ltd
Golden Square Petworth West Sussex
GU28 0AP 01798 342 333