Ormolu Hannibal clock by Deniére et Matelin.
Collection of the White House.

Ormolu is a French word that means "ground gold." Gold leaf or metal ground for gilding another metal and a metal that has been gilded are both uses for the term. It is also used to describe an alloy composed of copper, tin and zinc that has the color of gold and is used for small clock cases and ornaments for wooded clocks, sometime lightly gilded with gold. In current usage ormolu is a term loosely used to describe brass or bronze gilded by fire gilding or mercury gilding. This has been done in England as mounts for porcelain or glass objects.