Eglomise Glass Mat

Eglomise mats, or "glass mats" often involve a gilded band and a black background. The were usually used on prints and needlework items. Often they would have additional elements such as corner decorations or titles. In the 20th century, they began to silk-screen these, making them much more cost effective.

The traditional method is to apply gold to the glass using a very weak gelatin/water solution. If done properly, this will dry to a shiny finish. It is often necessary to repeat the procedure to get good coverage of gold. I recently had to replicate a mat for an antique theorem (stencil painting on velvet). The original mat was broken during a move. Fortunately, the owners kept the broken pieces for me to work from

The original glass mat and frame. I needed to make sure the opening was identical to original.


First step is to mark all lines on front of glass (and mark the glass, as well as putting tape on it so I don't get confused). Remember, you are working from the back on a project like this. Before laying leaf I had to paint and trim the thin black line.



Leaf is laid for the gilt band. It needed two applications, at least in some areas. In some photos, the red circles are areas with gaps that needed additional gilding.

From the front, you can see the thin black line.


I cleaned up around the band in preparation for backing the band with black enamel. After this band was dry, I did final cleanup of extra gold. I could then paint the entire black border.


The finished mat in the frame.

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Last Update: March 7, 2010