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damascening (dăməsēnˈĭng) or damaskeening (–skēnˈ–), the art of decorating iron, steel, or bronze with inlaid threads of gold or silver, or producing a watered effect in forging, as in sword blades, gun barrels, and various metal objects. The method, long practiced in the Middle East as well as in China and Japan, was highly developed in Italy. The inlay forms a delicate and intricate pattern upon the contrasting background. The whole fabric is penetrated by the ornamental treatment, so that grinding does not remove it.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a technique for decorating metal, wood, bone, and horn. A design is etched on the surface of the material, and a fine wire (gold, silver) is inlaid into the etched design. Damascening produces a supple, delicate, and shimmering pattern, often forming an ornamental web over the entire surface of the article. The art has been known since early antiquity in India, Middle Asia, the Near East, and the Caucasus. Damascening was particularly popular during the Middle Ages and is still done today.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.