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Gilding

Many discoveries have been made by chance, and, as a rule, by people with uncommon imagination and strong belief in a miracle. Nobody remembers, who and when has forged a small bar of gold to a thickness of a web for the first time to decorate with it a certain sacred subject. Probably it was a statue, any utensils or the armor. Ever since the people have changed their perception of the surface covered with gold, the splendour of palace interiors made us forget its primary sacral significancy, but the material and the hands of masters still remember it and carry on the ancient tradition with ritual thoroughness.

The gilding is one of the most ancient crafts in the history of mankind. Decorative metal finish was used in prehistoric times. The gilding of a weapon, jewelry and household goods made of copper, bronze or silver was already used already in extreme antiquity. The gilding was the most widespread method of finish, for the reason, that gold was one of the first metals discovered by a man. Besides, the gold surpasses all other metals in intensity of color, softness of shine, depth of tone and in fixity of decorative qualities.

The gold leaf appeared about 5 thousand years ago in ancient India. Therefrom the gold leaf came to Egypt through the Middle East. There are the works of the Egyptian masters dated on 2300 BC. Soon the production of the gold leaf started in Greece, wherefrom it came through the Balkans to Hungary and then to the Kievan Russia. This technique was widely used in Ukraine in the X – XI centuries. Iron or copper domes of churches, the roofs, palace spires, the furniture, the armor and the weapon were covered with a gold leaf. It is written in the Lauretial chronicle that the prince Svyatopolk (Michael) Izyaslavovich ordered to gild the Kiev St. Michael’s Church that received the name of Golden Dome (Zlatoverhaya) Church and today this epithet figures in the name of Kiev St. Michel Golden Dome (Zlatoverhiy) Cathedral.

In the XVII – XVIII and first half of the XIX century the gold leaf was especially widely used in the decoration of interiors, furniture, and implements. The gilding was one the main furniture finish techniques of Baroque, Rococo and Empire styles. It gives the wood and plaster surfaces not only the hardness, but also a variety of decorative effects with different degree of gilding intensity – from bright to matt.

In the XVIII - XIX centuries the gold leaf was used in stamping of expensive books, palace interiors decoration to testify the prosperity of their owner.

It’s been a long time, but even today the high and mighties wish to be transported from the world of modern technologies to the atmosphere of magnificent antiquity. The gold as a symbol of nobleness and eternal values remains the preferable material for the decoration of modern interiors.

Thin gold leaf gilding made by the «Gold Art Line» masters, combines the experience of many generations and the original artistic flair.