Question about gilded edges of armour plates from early modern period (e.g. English Civil War)

Oct 2017
132
South Australia
I've been meaning to ask this question for a while and it came up on a recent thread. I think it looks really good when the edges of armour plates are clad in metal that is gold/brass looking (not sure which exactly), as shown on Prince Rupert's shoulder here. Does anyone know what this technique was called or can tell me more about it? Please share some good examples!


Capture.PNG
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,882
Australia
Could be one of two things. They may have simply riveted lateen strips to the edges. Or the plate might have been firegilded, which involves mercury and a seriously truncated lifespan.
 
Oct 2017
132
South Australia
Could be one of two things. They may have simply riveted lateen strips to the edges. Or the plate might have been firegilded, which involves mercury and a seriously truncated lifespan.
You may have to explain that in layman's terms, I'm not really sure what you're referring to sorry šŸ˜…

What is lateen, and what is firegilding?
 
Oct 2017
132
South Australia
Lateen is a copper alloy like bronze and brass.

Firegilding is called "mercury gilding" today.

Ah thanks for that info.

I've just noticed what appears to be pairs of rivet heads along each of the plates behind the gilded strips, maybe it is strips of metal riveted on like you say.
In fact, a very similar painting of Rupert shows the same thing and it definitely looks like riveted metal strips in this one:princerupert2.jpg
 
Oct 2017
132
South Australia
Those rivets aren't for the decoration, they are to articulate the shoulder plates.
Oh of course, I see that now on the first one.

In the second painting though there are rivets directly on the decorative strips, would they be to fasten them on, or for articulation of the plates again?
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,160
Sydney
Mercury/gold amalgam then heated to vaporize the mercury
it's the same technique for backyard gold mining
wash the gravel with mercury , heat up the amalgam re-condense the mercury for reuse
collect the gold