WHAT IS THE ART OF DAMASCENING?
A journey through time and across cultures
An art form with over a thousand years of history, damascening is the art of decorating steel objects with designs in gold and silver, resulting in beautiful embellishments of the object.
The sumptuousness of its decoration is due to the contrast between the black color of the steel and the sparkling shine of the precious metals.
In contemporary times, the damascene technique is realized exclusively in Toledo, Spain and in Japan, which makes it an authentic and unique art form for those who appreciate original craftwork.
The Renaissance - style print with its scenes of nature, typically of flowers and birds, or the Geometric pattern of infinite interlacing lines, have been the two main traditional styles of damascening throughout the history of this art form.
Today, pieces employing the damascene technique draw inspiration from a variety of themes, ranging from city skylines, to monuments, a country's national emblem or historical characters, all adapted to the tastes of its owner.
The origin of this craft dates back to the ancient Egyptian civilization, ancient Greece and Rome, as well as having its roots in Chinese and Japanese history, as it was used to decorate traditional Katanas. Traces of the art form have been found that are even more than 1500 years old.
As its name suggests, damascene found its way to Toledo from Damascus, Syria and the ancient artisans that created and exported this craft.
The propagation of this craft to other lands, was due to the fact that during the Renaissance period, armour and weapons were decorated in this golden style, bestowing great prestige on their owners.
During the Baroque period, the damascene technique was employed to decorate a variety of jewellery boxes and trunks for the high society of that era.
MUSEUM PIECE OF ART
When light is shone directly upon them, the brilliance of the gold radiates against the black steel, converting the objects into pieces worthy of belonging in a museum.
It is worth highlighting, as a curiosity, that some historical weapons decorated with damascene ornamentation, have been put on display at the New York Met Museum.
- Incense burner 14th century , New York Met Museum -
And today, Manufacturas Anframa, we continue the tradition of damascene and want to transmit its legacy to the world.
Each of our pieces are carefully sketched by our designers, who manually create a one-of-a-kind print,as well as a Luxury damascene collection that preserves the original finishing process handmade by an expert artisan.