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Gold Leaf

Gold Leaf

by Nicholas Von Robison

Originally published as Guild of American Luthiers Data Sheet #102, 1979 and Lutherie Woods and Steel String Guitars, 1997

Upon acquiring an old Oscar Schmidt autoharp in very bad condition, I had to learn gold leaf technique to do an original restoration. Prior to this I had always regarded gold leaf as gaudy and pretentious, fitting for antique furniture and the like. Now I use it with shell and ivory for ornamentation on my instruments.

“Patent” gold leaf comes in various shades ranging from deep gold to lemon to mottled colors. The quality varies, but the price is reasonable. A book of 20 3" × 5" 23K sheets costs about $15. Check your local hobby and craft shops, or Behlen/Mohawk for supplies.

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