Online Encyclopedia

CHASING, or ENCHASING

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 957 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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CHASING, or ENCHASING, the art of producing figures and ornamental _patterns, either raised or indented, on metallic surfaces by means of steel tools or punches. It is practised extensively for the ornamentation of goldsmith and silversmith work, electro-plate and similar objects, being employed to produce bold flutings and bosses, and in another manner utilized for imitating engraved surfaces. Minute work can be produced by this method, perfect examples of which may be seen in the watch-cases chased by G. M. Moser, R.A. (1704-1783). The chaser first outlines the pattern on the surface he is to ornament, after which, if the work involves bold or high embossments, these are blocked out by a process termed " snarling." The snarling iron is a long iron tool turned up at the end, and made so that when securely fastened in a vise the upturned end can reach and press against any portion of the interior of the vase or other object to be chased. The part to be raised being held firmly against the upturned point of the snarling iron, the workman gives the shoulder or opposite end of the iron a sharp blow, which causes the point applied to the work to give it a percussive stroke, and thus throw up the surface of the metal held against the tool. When the blocking out from the interior is finished, or when no such embossing is required, the object to be chased is filled with molten pitch, which is allowed to harden. It is then fastened to a sandbag, and with hammer and a multitude of small punches of different outline the whole details of the pattern, lined, smooth or " matt," are worked out. Embossing and stamping from steel dies and rolled ornaments have long since taken the place of chased ornamentations in the cheaper kinds of plated works. (See EMBOSSING.)
End of Article: CHASING, or ENCHASING
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WILLIAM MERRITT CHASE (1849– )
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VICTOR EUPHEMIEN PHILARETE CHASLES (1798-1873)

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