Ormolu is the gilding technique of applying finely ground, high-carat gold–mercury amalgam to an object of bronze, for objects finished in this way. The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold coating; the French refer to this technique as "bronze doré". Around 1830, legislation in France had outlawed the use of mercury for health reasons, though use continued to the 1900s. Craftsmen principally used ormolu for the decorative mountings of furniture, lighting devices, porcelain; the manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of mercuric nitrate is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze. The item is exposed to extreme heat until the mercury vaporizes and the gold remains, adhering to the metal object; this process has been supplanted by the electroplating of gold over a nickel substrate, more economical and less dangerous. Due to exposure to the harmful mercury fumes, most gilders did not survive beyond 40 years of age.

In literature there is a reference from John Webster: Hang him. To replace ormolu, other gilding techniques were utilized. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt. A substitute of a mixture of metals resembling ormolu was developed in France and called pomponne, though the mix of copper and zinc, sometimes with an addition of tin, is technically a type of brass. From the 19th century the term has been popularized to refer to gilt imitation gold. Gilt-bronze is found from antiquity onwards across Eurasia, in Chinese art, where it was always more common than silver-gilt, the opposite of Europe. Craftsmen principally used ormolu for the decorative mountings of furniture, lighting devices, porcelain; the great French furniture designers and cabinetmakers, or ébénistes, of the 18th and 19th centuries made maximum use of the exquisite gilt-bronze mounts produced by fondeurs-ciseleurs such as the renowned Jacques Caffieri, whose finished gilt-bronze pieces were as fine as jewelers' work.

Ormolu mountings attained their highest technical development in France. Fine results could be achieved for lighting devices, such as chandeliers and candelabras, as well as for the ornamental metal mounts applied to clock cases and to ceramic pieces. In the hands of the Parisian marchands-merciers, the precursors of decorators, ormolu or gilt-bronze sculptures were used for bright, non-oxidizing fireplace accessories or for Rococo or Neoclassical mantel-clocks or wall-mounted clock-cases – a specialty of Charles Cressent – complemented by rock-crystal drops on gilt-bronze chandeliers and wall-lights; the bronze mounts were cast by lost wax casting, chiseled and chased to add detail. Rococo gilt bronze tends to be finely cast chiseled, part-burnished. Neoclassical gilt-bronze is entirely chiseled and chased with extraordinary skill and delicacy to create finely varied surfaces; the ormolu technique was extensively used in the French Empire mantel clocks, reaching its peak during this period.

Chinese and European porcelains mounted in gilt-bronze were luxury wares that heightened the impact of often-costly and ornamental ceramic pieces sometimes used for display. Chinese ceramics with gilt-bronze mounts were produced under the guidance of the Parisian marchands-merciers, for only they had access to the ceramics and the ability to overleap the guild restrictions. A few surviving pieces of 16th-century Chinese porcelain subsequently mounted in contemporary European silver-gilt, or vermeil, show where the foundations of the fashion lay. From the late 1760s, Matthew Boulton of Birmingham produced English ormolu vases and perfume-burners in the latest Neoclassical style. Though the venture never became a financial success, it produced the finest English ormolu. In the early 19th century fine English ormolu came from the workshops of Benjamin Lewis Vulliamy. In France, the tradition of neoclassic ormolu to Pierre-Philippe Thomire was continued by Lucien-François Feuchère. Beurdeley & Cie. produced excellent ormolu in Rococo and Neoclassical styles in Paris, rococo gilt-bronze is characteristic of the furniture of François Linke.

Gold plating References SourcesSwantje Koehler: Ormolu Dollhouse Accessories. Swantje-Köhler-Verlag, Bonn 2007. ISBN 3-9811524-0-9. National Pollutant Inventory - Copper and compounds fact sheet Kevin Brown and Patrons: Court Art and Revolution in Brussels at the end of the Ancien Regime, Dutch Crossing and Francis

Silver Circle (law firms)

The Silver Circle is a group of elite corporate law firms headquartered in London that has evolved as the UK legal market has been affected by globalisation and mergers. The law firms described by The Lawyer magazine as comprising the Silver Circle were Ashurst, Herbert Smith, Macfarlanes, SJ Berwin and Travers Smith, but are limited to Macfarlanes and Travers Smith. Slaughter and May and Mishcon de Reya are sometimes considered to be members; the term'Silver Circle' was coined by The Lawyer magazine in response to the term'Magic Circle'. According to The Lawyer, the term'Silver Circle' is intended to define a category of firms with a similar approach; the Lawyer's editor Catrin Griffiths' definition in 2005 read thus: "Silver circle firms are content to advise a premium UK client base rather than service global institutions. A lot of work is private equity-dominated it pays. By the way, there is something else that characterises these firms: a disdain for an overtly managerial approach and a horrified avoidance of big firm bureaucracy."

As defined by The Lawyer in 2005, the Silver Circle comprised Ashurst, Herbert Smith, Macfarlanes, SJ Berwin and Travers Smith. At the time, Berwin Leighton Paisner was listed as an ‘associate member’ of the Silver Circle. According to The Lawyer it was "Not yet well enough established to merit full membership". According to The Lawyer and Norton Rose, which had ambitions of expanding internationally, did not meet the criteria for the Silver Circle and were instead designated in an ‘internationalists’ bracket that included DLA Piper, Clyde & Co, Simmons & Simmons and Denton Wilde Sapte. In 2017, The Lawyer argued that the group of five firms which made up the original Silver Circle in 2005 had adopted different strategies. Three pursued international ambitions. Ashurst, Herbert Smith Freehills and SJ Berwin each followed international expansion strategies, according to The Lawyer, did not meet the criteria for continued membership of the Silver Circle; the Lawyer was of the view that Berwin Leighton Paisner, which had the potential to be a full member of the Silver Circle, did not meet the Circle's criteria.

In addition to Macfarlanes and Travers Smith, The Lawyer argued that Mishcon de Reya formed part of the Silver Circle. The Silver Circle firms have a lower turnover than the members of the Magic Circle, but have an average profits per equity partner and average revenue per lawyer far above the UK average; the term'Silver Circle', however, is not intended to mark these firms as subservient to the Magic Circle. Contrary to what the term'Silver Circle' may suggest, there is no Golden Circle. For the debate about Slaughter and May's membership of the Magic Circle and the Silver Circle, see Magic Circle. Big Three law firms, an informal term for leading law firms in New Zealand Big Four law firms, an informal term for leading law firms in Japan Big Five law firms, an informal term for leading law firms in South Africa Big Six law firms, an informal term for leading law firms in Australia. In 2012, three of these firms merged with overseas firms, one other began operating in association with an overseas firm.

As a consequence it has been proposed that the term is no longer applicable to the Australian legal profession, displaced by the concept of'global elite law firms' or'international business law firms'. Offshore magic circle, an informal term for leading law firms in offshore financial centers Red Circle law firms, an informal term for leading law firms in the People's Republic of China, coined by The Lawyer magazine in 2014. For further information see the list of the largest Chinese law firms. Seven Sisters law firms, a collection of seven leading Canadian law firms with offices in Toronto White Shoe law firms, an informal term for leading law firms in the United States


The Aër is the largest and outermost of the veils covering the Chalice and Diskos in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite. It is rectangular in shape and corresponds to the veil used to cover the chalice and paten in the Latin Rite, but is larger, it is made of the same material and color as the vestments of the officiating priest, has a fringe going all the way around its edge. Tassels may be sewn at each of the corners, it takes its name either from the lightness of the material of which it is made, or from the fact that during the Nicene Creed in the Divine Liturgy, the priest holds it high in the air and waves it over the Chalice and Diskos. Its original use was to cover the Chalice and prevent anything from falling into it before the consecration, it symbolizes the swaddling clothes with which Christ was wrapped at his Nativity, the grave clothes in which he was wrapped at his burial. The Aër is first mentioned by name in an explanation of the Divine Liturgy by a writer of the sixth century, is alluded to as "the so-called Aër" in the Acts of the Council of Constantinople.

At the Divine Liturgy, during the Liturgy of Preparation, when the Aër is to be placed over the Gifts, it is first wrapped around the censer and laid over the Chalice and Diskos, so that the front edge of the Aër just touches the surface of the table. When not covering the Gifts, the Aër is folded; the Aër has a cross embroidered in its exact center, so that when it is folded the cross is visible. At the Great Entrance, when the sacred vessels are brought in procession to the Holy Table, the priest will place the Aër over the deacon's left shoulder before he hands him the Diskos. For this reason, the Aër will have ribbons sewn onto it, so it can be tied securely in place. If there is no deacon serving, the priest will place the Aër around his own shoulders like a cape, which will leave his hands free to take both the Diskos and the Chalice. Just before the chanting of the Symbol of the Faith, the Priest will kiss the Diskos and Chalice and the front edge of the Holy Table. During the Creed, the priest will hold the Aër above the Gifts and waive it indicating the activity of the Holy Spirit.

When a bishop is serving the Liturgy, the concelebrating priests will hold the Aër during the Creed as the bishop kneels underneath it. After the Creed, the Aër is placed on the Holy Table. In some practices, the priest will bless the people with the Aër during the Sursum corda. Following Communion, the Aër is placed, still folded, on the Diskos, together with the Spear and Asterisk and little veils, all are taken back to the Prothesis by the deacon. During a Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts, the priest or deacon wears the Aër on his left shoulder for the Great Entrance. Whenever a bishop first arrives at a church or monastery, he will be greeted by the senior priest holding a tray covered by an Aër, on, placed a blessing cross for him to kiss. At the Ordination of a priest, when it is time for the Great Entrance, the Bishop will drape the Aër over the candidate's head and shoulders, in this manner he will carry it in the procession; the candidate will not enter the Sanctuary with the rest of the clergy, but will remain standing at the Holy Doors.

The Bishop will remove the Aër from his head and place it over the Gifts and cense them, after which the Ordination takes place. During Feasts of the Cross a cross is laid on a tray covered by an Aër and decorated with basil leaves and flowers; this is carried by the priest from the Prothesis to the Holy Table, where it will remain until the Great Doxology near the end of Matins. At that point the priest will take it in procession to the center of the church where all the faithful will come forward to venerate the cross. At the death of a priest or bishop, when his body is vested for burial, his face will be covered with an Aër to show his closeness to the Sacred Mysteries. In some of the monasteries on the Holy Mountain, when the Ecclesiarch and Paraecclesiarch cense, each will wear an Aër on his left shoulder. Liturgical veils Articles OrthodoxWiki - Aer Aër Article from Catholic EncyclopediaPhotos At the Prothesis—the Aër is in the foreground with the Asterisk resting on top of it Before the Symbol of the Faith—priest kissing the Chalice and Diskos through the Aër Lifting the Aër during the Symbol of the Faith Hierarchical Liturgy—two bishops bowing under the Aër as it is held by priests Ordination of a priest—bearing the Aër at the Great Entrance This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Shipman, Andrew Jackson.

"Aër". In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton