Ancient Egyptian gilding. The earliest documented gilded object is a silver nail from around 3,000 B.C., found in northern Syria. The head was wrapped in gold foil that was crimped into position. Ancient Egypt was rich in gold, so many Egyptian craftsmen were master gilders. Goldsmiths in ancient Egypt pounded gold to less than a hundredth of a millimeter in thickness, decorating wood and metal objects with the thinnest and finest overlays of gold leaf. Some experts believe that animal glue was used to adhere the leaf directly to the object.This delicate gilded wall sculpture is the hero element in this eclectic dining room.