P. Andrew Lins
This paper begins with a brief history of the chemical processing of gold after the Renaissance and how this influenced the development of gilding techniques during the period, culminating in current technologies such as electrospray and vapor deposition.
Early electrochemical reduction and decomposition reactions are described, as is the widespread growth of electroplating after 1840.
Some of the electrochemical and structural features of the gilding layers produced by the above techniques are compared.
Common conservation treatments of thin, soft gilding layers are reviewed.