Gold, Gold leaf

Gold leaf is a very thin metal foil which is available in a wide variety of carats and shades. 23-carat gold is the most commonly used variety. Layering gold leaf over a surface is sometimes called gold leafing, and is a very common form of gilding. Before the discovery of electroplating, it was the only cost effective way to gild statues, cornices, the exterior of domes or other objects. To avoid the high price of gold there are a variety of imitation gold leaf products available which are usually referred collectively as imitation leaf.

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Henry Scobell, by Thomas Simon, 1649 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henry Scobell
by Thomas Simon
1649
NPG 4363

Oliver Cromwell, by Peter Blondeau, after an original by  Thomas Simon, 1656 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Oliver Cromwell
by Peter Blondeau, after an original by Thomas Simon
1656
NPG 4068

Henrietta Anne, Duchess of Orleans, copy attributed to Jean Petitot, possibly after  Pierre Mignard, 17th century? - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Henrietta Anne, Duchess of Orleans
copy attributed to Jean Petitot, possibly after Pierre Mignard
17th century?
NPG 1606

Embroidered garment front panel belonging to Thomas Hope, by Unknown artist, circa 1787-1795 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Embroidered garment front panel belonging to Thomas Hope
by Unknown artist
circa 1787-1795
NPG D31702

Jeremy Bentham, by John Field, circa 1823 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Jeremy Bentham
by John Field
circa 1823
NPG 3068

Mary Ann Hillier; unknown girl, by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1869-1870 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

Mary Ann Hillier; unknown girl
by Julia Margaret Cameron
1869-1870
NPG x18056

Elton John (

Elton John ('On the throne')
by Suzi Malin
1978
NPG 6563

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