DECORATION VIII: GildingEntire Contents Copyright © 2010 CBH
|Flemish instrument with gilded mouldings|
The only gold normally used in the traditional decoration of a Flemish instrument was on the rose and soundboard chamfer. The Rose Gilding Kit contains a few leaves of 23K gold from its most common booklet leaf form, along with sufficient size, a leather strip for the application of the size, and soft brush for cleaning up.
The original Flemish mouldings would typically be finished bright—the varnished natural wood looking golden from a distance.
Our Ruckers instruments could appropriately be decorated in French style if you prefer, particularly if you have the French convention of the ”Reverse” keyboard with ebony naturals and bone-slipped sharps.
A simple decorative scheme for the painted case of a French harpsichord would include gold on the mouldings around the case rim and across the jackrail, as well as the mouldings on the nameboard batten, the coupler rail, and the casefront rail (under the lower manual keys), as well as flat gold bands over the paint on the case sides and on the inside of the lid and flap. The gilded mouldings serve to separate the interior color from the exterior, if you are using a simple two-color scheme.
Gilding is not overly difficult. A special varnish called “gold size” is applied to the areas to be gilt, allowed to become tacky, and then the gold leaf is laid down on it. We provide simple instructions with all the gilding kits, and even without experience, you should be able to do a handsome job of gilding your own harpsichord. The painting of the case should be entirely finished before the gold is put on, including the final varnish: Nothing is put over the quite durable surface of the gold.
All the supplies you will need are in the various gilding kits, including a container of size, pads of leather to apply it with (eliminating any brush marks), and a soft clean-up brush to remove the excess crumbs of gold when dry. The Mouldings Kit contains a roll of 13mm-wide gold leaf sufficient to gild the mouldings on a French Double Harpsichord. The Bands Gilding Kit includes special tape, and a roll of 25mm-wide gold leaf sufficient to put bands on the cheek, bentside, and tail as well as the interior of the lid and flap. The clear and complete instructions include details of the classical layout of the banding and how to accomplish it on your own instrument.
We can also make up a kit for gilding a Louis XVI-style stand. The grand
moulding is best entirely covered with gold, and the corner boxes and rails outlined.
The rosettes are gilded and then pinned to the dimpled background of the boxes.
The two top rings of each of the six legs are gilded along with the flutes and
the ball at the base of each foot, adding an extra touch of opulence.
|Oil gilding the Louis XV cabriole stand legs
Carey Beebe oil gilding a Louis XV cabriole leg for the table stand.
|Oil gilding the case bands
Carey Beebe demonstrating oil gilding of the harpsichord case bands.
|Oil gilding the mouldings
Carey Beebe demonstrating oil gilding of the harpsichord case top mouldings.
|Oil gilding the rose
Carey Beebe demonstrating oil gilding of the harpsichord soundboard rose.
|Technical Library overview|
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