There’s a cascade of gold medals from Team GB at the Olympics at time of writing. Gold is seen as the ultimate way to reward success.
Why do we love the yellow stuff so much? Well, apart from the obvious - value - a BBC programme on gold in the ‘A History of Art in Three Colours’ series suggests that the original appeal was because it is the colour of the sun.
In our gallery and workshop we have the privilege of living and working with gold all the time. Most of the 18th century mirror frames that we specialise in are gilded and in our restoration workshop we follow the gilding techniques of the 18th century and before. As a child I was always very impressed by my older brother’s ‘golden dandruff’ – little flakes of 22ct gold leaf left over in his dark hair from the stroke of the gilder’s brush, which is run through the hair to create sufficient static to pick up the leaf.
When people walk into our gallery for the first time they are quite often dazzled by the fact that there is gilded mirror after gilded mirror. It can be overwhelming, but our clients like to choose just one or two suns from this galaxy for their own home planet.
All gold was originally made in the heart of a super-nova, and that lustrous yellow-framed looking-glass above the mantel is really just the place for a sporting star to hang their Gold Medal.