Rupert Coke: Gilder
The re-gilding of several areas of the hall has been expertly carried out by London based gilder, Rupert Coke. Over the last five years, his expertise has seen the restoration of the gilding in the Green State Bedroom and adjacent dressing room. Here areas of damage have been intricately restored before finally applying the gold leaf, bringing the skirting boards, dado rail and the ornamental carvings on the window shutters, architraves and door frames back to their former glory. In 2012 Rupert completed the gilding in the link corridors in Chapel and Family wings.
At Holkham, Rupert Coke used the technique of water gilding. It is a time consuming process but captivating to watch as the thin leafs of gold, measuring a thickness of only 1/250,000th of an inch, flutter through the air at the end of the sable hair tip and laid over a meticulously prepared surface. Water gilded gold leaf presents a beautiful satin tone where left unburnished, offering an attractive contrast to burnished highlights.
There is some historical evidence which suggests the entire surface of a gilded frame would be fully burnished to a high lustre. Centuries ago before the advent of electricity, the brightness of water gilded gold leafed frames, furniture, and architectural embellishment reflected the ambient light in a room, often best experienced under the warm glow of candlelight.
More information can be found on Rupert’s website: Rupert Coke : London Gilder & Restorer