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HOME : Decorative Arts : Masterpieces : Guilt silver beaker with birds
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Guilt silver beaker with birds - SF.024
Origin: Possibly Persian (?)
Circa: 1800 AD to 1900 AD
Dimensions: 5.75" (14.6cm) high x 3.5" (8.9cm) wide
Medium: Silver

Location: Great Britain
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Silver-gilt is silver gilded with gold. Most large objects made by goldsmiths which appear to be made out of pure gold are actually silver-gilt, as for example most sporting trophies, medals and many crown jewels. Apart from being much cheaper than gold, large silver-gilt objects are also much lighter and stronger. Compared to plain silver, gilding greatly reduced the need for cleaning and polishing, and thus reduced considerably the risk of damage to such objects. “Gold" threads used in embroidered goldwork are normally also silver-gilt. Silver-gilt objects have been made since ancient times using a variety of gilding techniques, and a distinctive depletion gilding technique was developed by the Incas in Pre-Columbian South America. This is an extremely handsome late 19th century beaker, very possibly of coming from a Persian workshop whose decoration consists variously of interlaced scrollwork, creating a rhomboid framework embossed with interacting birds. - (SF.024)


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