Silver Gilt

silver gilt moulding detail, Charlottenburg
In the Schloß Charlottenburg,  Berlin, a number of rooms are still being  restored and re-gilt. There is an enfilade suite of rooms in the Neuer Flügel with silver-gilt mouldings that I found particularly charming
white and silver room, Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
Silver looks beautiful with white, and with mirrors of course, but look how splendidly it works with color.
a silver and green chamber
a silver gilt door reflects the warmth of the adjoining red and gold room

a favorite moment: worn silver gilt window shutter, with curry yellow silk drapes
Curry yellow silk upholstered walls and silver gilt mirror
Enfilade is in the glossary!

click on images to view larger
all photos in this post by Lynne Rutter, Berlin, March 2011


  1. So nice to see this Lynne! Silver gilt seems to be the stepchild and not seen that much in decorative use. These photos are major eye candy!

  2. Lynne, I just discovered your glossary! I'm so glad you've done that — I have so much to learn from you! Mark

  3. Found your blog through the Dusty Victorian. I did a lot of gold gilding at my house. You might like to stop by.

  4. Beautiful examples. The more I see both, the more I prefer the silver. To me, it is elegant without shouting.

    I've always wanted to visit Berlin- maybe some day!

  5. mark, feel free to send me some new word. but they have to be esoteric or hard to pronounce or i won't use them! theresa, ann, i am certain you would love the eastern european aesthetic- it's familiar but never what you expect. berlin and its environs have a lot to offer from all periods of art history.
    welcome, richard! thanks for dropping by. we victorian owners have to stick together.

  6. Thanks for stopping by My Old Historic House, I am excited to find your blog. RC and S

  7. Love it! Is that siver or white gold. I know very little about metal leafing and was told that silver ages very quickly ??

  8. hi Pascal
    you know, a lot of times they say "silver leaf" when they mean "silver-coloured leaf". It could well be white gold which is a silver + gold alloy (which we can get in 9, 10, or 12 karat) and it will tarnish eventually, but more slowly. that said I am not sure it is historically accurate to use white gold in place of silver in this setting. Silver was used a lot in the 18th century. It has to be protected and maintained but it's an amazing color and the way it ages is really quite beautiful.

  9. How did I miss this first time around? Great photos of this most wonderful place. I wonder when the last time was that the gilding was done. I bet we could find out with some poking. Palladium leaf also has that beautiful color and tarnishes much more slowly than silver.

  10. most of this gilding is quite recent. large areas of this palace are newly restored and really splendid!

  11. Dear Lynne, I am preparing an article on silvering at Temple Newsam, Leeds, Yorkshire, so I found this blogpost very interesting. Were you allowed to take pictures inside Charlottenburg Palace? Did you have to ask permission? Many thanks, Sascha

  12. Hi Sasha
    If you want to photograph inside Charolottenburg (or any of the other palaces around there, like Sans Souci) you must obtain permission and buy a permit, which is about 5 euro and well worth it. You can typically do this when you buy your entrance ticket. No flash or tripods are allowed so it helps it you have a very fast lens.
    Let me know when your article is finished, I'd love to read it!

  13. Thanks for the tip, and for responding so fast. I will be in Berlin at the end of August. I used to live there.. Have joined you on FB. The article will form part of my D.Phil dissertation on colour. We have a lot of silver decoration in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and I am looking for other examples. Our 1823 silver wallpaper tarnished dramatically. Best, Sascha


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