Damascene

rmgreen

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I am having a difficult time with this term as it is relates to engraving. I have seen this term used and illustrated several time on the forum and other places. The descriptions & illustrations of damascene were different from one to the next. Is this a generic term or a specific term of a particular style or form?

What is Damascene?
 

Roger Bleile

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DAMASCENE GOLD WORK or DAMASQUINADO – A process of arms and jewelry decoration most commonly associated with Spain. To create damascene ornamentation the engraver or damasquinador engraves or punches tiny raised teeth on the surface of the metal in the shape of the desired design. 24-karat gold or fine silver is then punched down onto the teeth. The design is then trimmed or cleaned up with a burin. Spanish damascene work commonly uses designs of Moorish or Arabic design as contrasted with other forms of gold or silver overlay using European motifs. French: La damasquinure

Some examples are shown below.
 

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Roger Bleile

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I will add that the term Damascene can be used in other ways in areas aside from arms and jewelry. For instance, among pocket watch collectors, Damascene relates to a repetitive pattern on the bridges of a watch movement. It is similar to engine turning. Also, in the far east Damascene gold work is known as Koftgari. The same process is used but the style of ornament is different than found in European work. The percussion revolver above could be considered Koftgari due to the style of ornament (probably done in India).
 

rmgreen

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Thanks for all the input. Roger B. I think your explanation is the strict (primary) definition of Damascene. I had seen examples of Fine English and other styles used in a repetitive manner referred to as Damascene. Like many other things There is more than one definition but one which is the primary definition. Again Thanks.
 

jerrywh

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#11
In my opinion Rodger is totally correct. The true Damascene is as illustrated by him in the photos and is applied in a slightly different way than over lay or inlay work. The gold used in True Damascene work is normally about .001 or less thick. Check out this video for a total example. In order to roll gold this thin it must be rolled in between two pieces of stainless foil and requires special techniques to cut the designs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgP2ENTwwTE
 

jerrywh

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#13
In order to do true Damascene one must be a gluten for punishment. I have started it but do not plan to do much of it. I have the .001 gold and some 24K wire that is .0005. Makes me wonder why a person would subject themselves to this much agony. It is truly a form of insanity. Close to some of Phil Cogan's portrait work.
 

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