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Gilt vase, c 1841.

Gilt vase, c 1841.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm


One of a group of three gilt vases by Alexander Parkes (1813-1890) and made by Elkington & Company. The vase is made of copper and electroplated with gold. Parkes took out his first patent on 'Electroplating Works of Art' in 1841. In the electroplating proces a metal is deposited by pasing an electric current through a solution of one of its salts. Parkes even electroplated a spider's web which was presented to Prince Albert. He developed various metallurgical proceses as well as the first plastic, Parkesine. He was nicknamed the 'Nester of Electrometallurgy'.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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