An excerpt from the “Practical Guide to Scene Painting and Painting in Distemper” (F. Llyods, 1875)
“Foils – They are used chiefly in fairy scenes, for the purpose of imitating gold, silver, and jewels of every shade and color. They can be purchased at any theatrical wardrobe and ornament maker’s, as well as a few oil and color shops.
White, gold and copper – Colored Dutch metal. This is also sold by the above-mentioned dealers. It is, of course, cheaper, but tarnishes sooner.” (page 15).
The foils that I have encountered on Scottish Rite scenery are 1/4″ -3/8″ crinkled paper strips with a shiny “metal” surface that catches the light. The pictures shown below were taken during scenery evaluations at the following Scottish Rite theaters: Wichita (fairy scene images), Salina (Treasure chamber images), Grand Forks, Winona, and Santa Fe (Hades images).