Gilding and Classic Italian Furniture
Classic Italian Furniture
Small details create the elegance and quality of each piece of furniture in our collection. The design process is carried out by hand by artisans who continue the tradition of classic Italian furniture design. Gilding is just one of many traditional handmade artisanal processes that finish every piece of furniture and turn them into works of art. Made in Italy, finished by the hands of expert craftsmen, our Italian furniture is inspired by centuries old tradition, quality, and luxury.
Gold leaf is common in antique Italian furniture pieces, but also in contemporary designs that draw from classic Italian style.
Traditional Artisan Process
Gilding, an important aspect of classic Italian design, is the application of gold leaf, an age-old decorative method that has existed for over 2000 years. Aside from some technological advances that ensure the material is less likely to deteriorate over time, the process has remained practically unchanged since that time and is carried out in the traditional way. Precious antique Italian furniture is commonly finished with these final touches.
Refined, elegant, and a timeless tradition, the details of furniture finished in golden leaf are precious. The application, or gilding, is only possible by hand even today, making every unique luxury piece a work of a master artisan. It is a true Italian tradition and adds a touch of traditional elegance to our furniture design.
Artisans hammer the gold between two thick pieces of leather. The metal becomes very thin and malleable, making it possible to apply to almost any surface. The process is most generally used to add a touch of elegance to classic Italian furniture accessories such as lamps, mirrors and small console tables, but can also be used in larger pieces such as headboards and wardrobe closets.
The thin sheets of gold are commonly 23 carats and the number of layers depends on the design of the piece and the desire of the client. The color of the gold may vary slightly depending on the original piece of gold chosen.
The first phase of the handmade application is done by the artisan and is called priming, which consists in polishing the surface to be covered and next covering the area in glue. The next step the artisan carries out is the application of stucco and gesso, combined with rabbit-skin glue. This mixture ensures that the surface is smooth and impermeable.
Once the first application has dried, the actual gilding begins. The artisan brushes a solution of water and fish glue onto the specific area and the leaf, cut to size with a special knife, is applied delicately to the moistened area using a flat brush. Once the gilding is complete, the artisan blots the area with padding in order to perfectly adhere the leaf.
After removing the excess gold leaf, the area is burnished to create shine. In order to achieve this effect, an agate stone (or alternatively special tools called burnishers) is rubbed directly across the leaf. Finally, a layer of protective varnish finishes the process.These traditional handmade finishings bestow the true beauty of the authentic Italian furniture design we offer. Each piece carries a story, and a legacy of true quality Made in Italy. Along every step of the design of our furniture, the craftsmen work meticulously to ensure that traditional style is achieved.