Antique French Ormolu and Mother of Pearl Casket, 19th Century For Sale
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Antique French Ormolu and Mother of Pearl Casket, 19th Century

About

This is a beautiful antique gilded ormolu and mother of pearl casket, circa 1870 in date. The top, front, sides and back feature beautifully cast ormolu decorative trellis work over of a mother of pearl ground. The interior is lined with the original pink velvet to the hinged lid and curved engraved sections to the base. It is a lovely piece which is functional as well as being highly decorative. Condition: In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation. Dimensions in cm: Height 3 x Width 15 x Depth 10 Dimensions in inches: Height 1.2 x Width 5.9 x Depth 3.9 Ormolu - (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'. The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, 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. After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt. Nacre also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some molluscs as an inner shell layer; it is also what makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong, resilient, and iridescent. The outer layer of pearls and the inside layer of pearl oyster and freshwater pearl mussel shells are made of nacre. Both black and white nacre are and were used for design purposes. They were used as decorative motif used in cabinet making or silversmithing. The natural nacre may be artificially tinted to almost any colour. Nacre tesserae may be cut into shapes and laminated to a ceramic tile or marble base. The tesserae are hand-placed and closely sandwiched together, creating an irregular mosaic or pattern (such as a weave). The laminated material is typically about 2 mm thick. The tesserae are then lacquered and polished creating a durable and glossy surface. Our reference: 09554.

Details

  • Materials and Techniques
  • Condition
    Good
  • Dimensions
    H 1.19 in. x W 5.91 in. x D 3.94 in.H 3 cm x W 15 cm x D 10 cm
  • Seller Location
    London, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
    09554
  • Reference Number
    LU950614496132
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About the Seller

5 / 5
Vetted
Platinum Seller
1stdibs seller since 2012
Located in London, GB
Associations:
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
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