The Art of Gilding
In addition to our authentic 19th Century Louis Phillipe gilded mirrors we are pleased to present a new collection of wall art which includes many beautiful antique replicas. From our Four Seasons Empire Intaglios to our Framed Botanicals, many of these pieces have hand-gilded borders or accents. Gilding is the process of applying very thin pieces of gold sheets to the surface of an object. So yes the gold corners of many of our frames are real gold!
The art of gilding dates back to 2300 BCE with the Egyptians. At that time, it was used mainly to adorn wood and metal. The gold leaf used then was much thicker than what is used today. In fact, the gold sheets used to be as thick as tin foil whereas now they are 100 times thinner.
As the art of gilding continued to travel around the world, the Romans adopted the practice in their ceiling adornment. Palaces had beautiful ceilings that were accentuated with gold leaf. Throughout the middle ages, the Chinese developed the gilding process onto porcelain and other unique materials.
Eventually the French became the modern day experts due to the fancy of Louis XIII all the way through to Louis XVI. Paris became the center of this golden age of style for frames and mirrors and the style changed with the reign of each King.
Today, gilding is mainly used on picture frames and furniture. Each of our gilded wall art pieces has been hand crafted to become a unique piece for your home. They are each carved from 17th and 18th century French wood. Whether you enjoy the elegance of our French Botanicals or the classical look of our Intaglio Boiseries, there is truly something for everyone.