This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
The article is first made perfectly bright, and those places which are to be gilt are covered with a matt consisting of white lead ground with gum water, made into a paste which can be applied like a thick paint by means of a pen or brush. Those places of the metal surface not covered by the paint are coated with asphalt varnish—a solution of asphaltum in benzine to which oil of turpentine is added to render it less volatile. After this is done lay the article in water, so that the white lead paint comes off, and put it into a gilding bath. By the electric current gold is precipitated on the bright parts of the metal. When the layer of gold is thick enough lift the object from the bath, wash, let dry and lay it into a vessel filled with benzol. The asphalt dissolves in the benzol, and the desired design appears in gold on the bronze or silver ground. This operation may also be performed by coating the whole article with asphalt varnish and executing the design by means of a blunt grayer which only takes away the varnish covering without scratching the metal itself. On the parts thus bared gold is deposited by the electric current and the varnish coating is then removed.