These were worked by casting and hammering, and ornamented by inlay, gilding and enamels with the greatest possible skill.
Thus, in the treatise known as Physica et Mystica and falsely ascribed to Democritus (such false attributions are a constant feature of the literature of alchemy), various receipts are given for colouring and gilding metals, but the conception of transmutation does not occur.
To some extent copper was used in an almost pure state during medieval times, especially from the 12th to the 15th century, mainly for objects of ecclesiastical use, such as pyxes, monstrances, reliquaries and croziers, partly on account of its sof tness under the tool, and also because it was slightly easier to apply enamel and gilding to pure copper than to bronze (see fig.
Don Sigismundo Brun is credited with the invention of permanent gilding fixed by heat.
The open work was filled up with whitewash, the painting and gilding effaced, the furniture soiled, torn or removed.
Edward Dillon (Glass, 1902) has very properly laid stress on the importance of the enamelled Saracenic glass of the r3th, 14th and r 5th centuries, pointing out that, whereas the Romans and Byzantine Greeks made some crude and ineffectual experiments in enamelling, it was under Saracenic influence that the processes of enamelling and gilding on glass vessels were perfected.
Fina from his plans in 1468, and carved the fine marble altar, the original painting and gilding of which are still preserved.
Salmon-colored, red, yellow and white glazes are also found, and in late specimens gilding was added.
Important features of Greek sacrifice, though not necessarily found in every rite, were the putting of wreaths and pieces of wool on the victim, the gilding of its horns, the lustration of the officiant and the sprinkling of those present with holy water.
The interior is covered with gilding and frescoes of the 17th century, and is somewhat overloaded with rich decoration, while a range of white marble columns supports the nave.