Materials and methods used for centuries
Whisper thin sheets of gold and silver have been used to embellish liturgical decoration since the 4th century. Glazing, the addition of bronze powders or pigments to a clear substrate are often used to tint, highlight, or dull the bright finishes of the metal to create dimension and augment details.
Precious metals are extremely durable and often can be cleaned successfully. However, “maintenance” over the years often includes coating leafed elements with varnish making their conservation and restoration more complex and the loss of the original metal leaf more likely.