Chinese Traditional Metal Craft Gold Gilt(鎏金)

Gold gilt (鎏金) is a Chinese traditional metal processing technology, also known as Ormolu in the west. In China, the history of gilt technology can be traced back to the late Spring and Autumn period (770 BC-476BC). An unearthed gilt bell found in King Liu Sheng’s tomb shows that gilt crafts was very mature during the early Warring States period (475BC – 221BC) in China. To do the gilt process, craftsman first paints the gold-mercury amalgam on the surface of bronze ware, and then heat it until the mercury evaporates. The gold will firmly attach to the surface and doesn’t come off. After gilt process, metal ware will have a luxurious and shinning appearance and the gold color doesn’t easily fade. Gold-gilt metal artworks are always Chinese royal family’s favorite. Gilt gold has spread extremely rare.