There are two processes of gilding. One called “oil gilding” and the other older and more traditional method of “water gilding”. Mahogany by Hand offers both.
Water gilding is the process of laying 23ct pure gold leaf on the furniture. This is a very painstaking and laborious process that entails many layer of “gesso” being applied to the furniture. The gesso must be rubbed down to a glass like finish after, in most cases, re-carving the furniture piece, as the gesso fills all the fine carving detail.
Following this process, the gilder lays “bole” (extremely expensive French coloured clay) over the areas to be later highlighted by burnishing.
It is at this stage the actual gold is overlayed and then hand burnished with agate stone to impart the lustrous pure gold shine that water gilding is so well known for.
The other method of oil gilding is far less, but still labour intensive. It is cheaper and quicker than water gilding and uses “Dutch leaf” (brass leaf) instead of pure gold. The leaf looks just the same but comes in larger, thicker sheets and is easier to handle.
The furniture is first coated with gold size and left to tack off. Once the gold size has the correct tackiness, the leaf is overlaid and left to dry. Once dry it is sealed with orange shellac (French polish) and then an antiquing scumble is wiped over the whole to impart an “antique patina” simulating years of age. Sometimes the leaf may be rubbed through to also simulate wear.
To maintain the natural beauty & well being of your valuable antique reproduction furniture, we offer the following general advice.
It is important to understand that wood is a natural product that should be protected from heat, strong sunlight and high humidity/moisture.
Spillage should be wiped and dried immediately with a soft flannel cloth. For general cleaning a damp flannel cloth, followed by a dry flannel cloth is all that is required.
If required, after years of normal wear, we use and recommend “Gilly Stephenson” waxes and polishes to revive well worn finishes.
Unfortunately, some situations are beyond ones control and your finish may suffer accidental damage, scratched or fabrics stained. You can be assured that we can assist you in restoring your valuable piece of furniture.
We, as our name suggests, usually only use mahogany. Mahogany being such a stable well grained timber it is ideal for our type of quality. It has been used throughout England & Europe for more than two centuries because of this well understood fact.
Because of mahogany’s fine, dense grain it is perfect for hand carving & delivers very fine, crisp carvings without splintering.
Please use our inquiry form on this site or by telephone or fax numbers on our contact page.
We often supply large contract orders for hotels and others. We have the capacity to supply large & medium orders on a regular basis.
Be assured by our “Lifetime Guarantee” and the fact that all the timber we use is fully kiln dried heart wood with no sap wood content. Also, we use technically correct construction methods that eliminate these issues.
Mahogany By Hand services all Melbourne metropolitan areas, interstate capital cities and all regional areas throughout Australia. We have provided solutions for interstate companies and families in Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide and Perth. As well as local companies and private individuals in CBD, Southgate, Caulfield, Armadale, Kew, Essendon, Doncaster, Rowville and numerous other centres in and around Melbourne.
Although we are based in Melbourne Victoria, we can deliver our furniture in New South Wales (NSW), Queensland (QLD), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA), Tasmania (Tas), The Northern Territory (NT) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).
Mahogany By Hand are specialists in the field hand made mahogany furniture, replica antique dining chairs and solid timber dining tables. Please use our contact form to have one of our expert staff answer any of your queries about our reproduction mahogany furniture or quality custom made furniture