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.