Reward highlight: gilding workshops


Central to the conservation of the proscenium arch, gilding is an art in itself, with a shining history stretching right back to the Egyptians. As a reward for their generosity, those who give £200 to our campaign can experience gilding themselves in one of our gilding workshops.

Our specialist gilders, responsible for maintaining the gilding across the Old Royal Naval College’s site, will lead with a talk on the ancient technique of gilding, which dates back as far as the sarcophagi of Ancient Egypt and the icons of the Middle Ages. The talk will cover the delicate gilding process, the tricks of the trade required to prepare and finish a gilding to perfection, and how today’s conservators put this ancient technique into practice.

Our supporters can then look forward to refreshments of wine and gilded hors d’oeuvres. Gilded food stretches back at least to the Renaissance and was a rare and luxurious treat in The Painted Hall creator Sir James Thornhill’s day.

Once inducted into the practice’s illustrious history, donors can then enjoy trying out gilding for themselves. With the expert advice of the instructors, they will gild their own creations to take home as a memory of this unique event. Donors will leave with not only their creation and an understanding of how the arch is to be re-gilded, but a newfound enthusiasm for this craft that they can continue to develop.

Donate £200 and take part in one of our workshops.

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