Metalwork History

Metalwork History

Inlay techniques (Damascene) for a variety of substrates were invented during the Bronze Age (approximately three thousand BCE) in the Middle East and Egypt, and around one thousand BCE in China. However, the damascene technique, with its more elaborate and intricate designs, did not appear in the Middle East until the medieval period (fifth to fifteenth century). Bronze (a copper and tin alloy) or brass (a copper and zinc alloy) were common substrates into which gold, silver, or copper wire or sheet were inlaid. In Europe, damascene decorations often appeared in the steel of sword hilts (handles), shields, and other armor.
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