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[GemWise] Goldsmith Treasures in Moscow's Armoury

The Goldsmith’s Art:

The goldsmiths work is exceptional. Repouse, a process by which a
three three dimensional bas relief is formed by placing sheet gold or
silver upside down in a bowl of warm pitch is breathtaking. Once
cool, the pitch both holds and cushions the metal and a series of
shaped hardened metal tools are used to push the metal outward. Once
the figure is formed, the metal is turned right side up and small
details are pushed and chiseled or “chased” in using smaller, finer
edged tools. By these processes, small figures of Christ and the
saints were beautifully rendered with minute detail.

Russian goldsmiths were masters of enameling and niello. Silver and
yellow gold are a fairly restricted palette, one can be used to gild
the other, but that is about it. Niello is a alloy of silver, lead
and copper of varying mixtures and a low melting point that becomes
gray to black and flows easily into chased or carved filigreed
recesses in either gold or silver and can create contrasts that bring
out the finer details in the host metal.

read more on my gemwise blog: