The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The gold-beater., p. 55
THE GOLD-BEATER. THE Gold-beater, according to his name, continually beats gold or silver in thin skins, upon marble, with a hammer that is large and heavy; reducing those me- tals into very thin leaves for the pur- pose of gilding or silvering copper, iron, steel, wood, and other materials. For the farther extension of gold plates into fine leaves, it is necessary to inter- pose some smooth body between them and the hammer, in order to soften the blow, and defend them from the rude- ness of the immediate action; as also to place between every two of the pieces, some intermedium which, while it prevents them from uniting together, or injuring one ano- ther, may suffer them freely to extend. For this, Gold-beaters use three kinds of membranes for the outside cover, common parchment made of sheep-skin; for inter- laying with the gold the closes are vellum made of call'skins; and afterwards finer skins made of a thin substance stript off from the gut, slit open and curiously pre- pared for the purpose; hence the name of Gold-beaters'skin. The beating of the gold is performed on a smooth block of marble fitted into the middle of a wvooden frame.
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