Neoclassical Fireplace Andiron

One of the most valuable secrets of French metalworkers in the 18th and early 19th century was the gilding of brass and bronze, called ormolu. Fine gold powder was mixed with mercury and then blown onto the object to be gilded or it was applied with a brush. Then the object was heated with fire, causing the mercury to evaporate and depositing the gold onto the bronze. The technique was very dangerous because of the released mercury vapors. Around 1830 this technique was officially banned because of the health risk for the craftsmen. After that electroplating gradually took over, which was less refined but more economical and less dangerous.
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Classification: ***: Very good condition, limited wear given the age and use. **: Clear signs of wear and possible structural problems including small instabilities. Still well suited for use in an open fireplace. *: Structural instability that hinders function other than decorative. For example, open fireplace tongs with a loose mechanism so that the ends can overlap. A fireback in this classification can still be used in a gas fireplace or as a backsplash. Should you want additional information about the quality or the classification of a specific fireplace accessory, do not hesitate to ask.

Age18/19th century
Depth 63.0 cm | 24.8 inches
Height26.0 cm | 10.2 inches
Width30.0 cm | 11.8 inches
MaterialsWrought iron, Ormolu