noun, often attributive \ˈr-mə-ˌlü\

Definition of ORMOLU

:  golden or gilded brass or bronze used for decorative purposes (as in mounts for furniture)

Origin of ORMOLU

French or moulu, literally, ground gold
First Known Use: 1765


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Secretary decorated with ormolu mounts, marquetry, and intarsia, French, c. 1770; in the Wallace …—Courtesy of trustees of the Wallace Collection, London

(from French dorure d'or moulu, “gilding with gold paste”) Gold-coloured alloy made up of copper, zinc, and sometimes tin in various proportions but usually at least 50% copper. It is used in mounts (ornaments on borders, edges, and as angle guards) for furniture and for other decorative purposes. After the molten alloy has been poured into a mold and allowed to cool, it is gilded with powdered gold mixed with mercury. It is then fired at a temperature that evaporates the mercury, leaving a gold surface. Ormolu was first produced in France in the mid-17th century, and France remained its main centre of production.


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