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Subject: Gilding


From: Jim Moss <clkmkr>
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2000
I have four sets of wooden tower clock hands whose gilding has
failed after 6 years of exposure to an oceanside environment (Cape
Cod, Massachusetts). As re-gilding is not easily done (the tower is
100' tall and the only access is from the outside), I would like to
stretch the envelope of permanence as much as is possible.

Initially I inquired of a couple of local sign shops that do gilding
what they would expect the lifetime to be for a gilded wooden object
subjected to the above conditions and their anecdotal responses
ranged from 10 to 25 years.

I would like to inquire of the Cons DistList members who work on the
preservation of buildings the same question: how long would the
gilding on a wooden object be expected to realistically last (an
example might be on a dome of a building) in an oceanside
environment: extremes of temperature, very high winds, lots of
moisture, driving rains, strong sun, most likely lots of airborne
particulate and salts? Are there special techniques, materials, or
sealants that need to be used to increase the longevity? Does
gilding come in various thicknesses?  From conversations with some
other conservators, the use of protective coatings was discouraged.

Your suggestions and ideas would be most welcome. Regards,

Jim Moss

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:5
                   Distributed: Monday, July 17, 2000
                        Message Id: cdl-14-5-017
Received on Thursday, 13 July, 2000

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