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What is gilt brass?

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July 14, 2009 3:32AM

Quite simply, brass that has a gold wash over it. Vermiel = gold over silver.....Ormolu = gold over bronze....dore = gold over brass. Commonly this was used on drawer pulls, brass feet, and many other metal accents on furniture, mostly so that the brass would not have to be polished...the gold always stayed bright and shiney. This is also a common technique on costume jewelry...thus the brass will not turn green when it touches your skin....until the gold is worn off, or polished off. A very common mistake...gilt surfaces should not be polished....mild soap and water does all the cleaning required...anything more harsh or abrasive only removes the gilt finish.