Ormolu - (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt.
Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to very large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae. Other common names are ear shells, sea ears, and muttonfish or mutton shells in Australia, ormer in the UK, perlemoen in South Africa, and paua in New Zealand. Abalone is a marine snail. Their taxonomy puts them in the family Haliotidae, which contains only one genus, Haliotis, which once contained six subgenera. These subgenera have become alternate representations of Haliotis. The number of species recognized worldwide ranges between 30 and 130 with over 230 species-level taxa described. The most comprehensive treatment of the family considers 56 species valid, with 18 additional subspecies. The shells of abalones have a low, open spiral structure, and are characterized by several open respiratory pores in a row near the shell's outer edge. The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre (mother-of-pearl), which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong, changeable colours, which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, jewellery, and as a source of colourful mother-of-pearl. The flesh of abalones is widely considered to be a desirable food and is consumed raw or cooked by a variety of cultures.