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repoussé (rəpōsāˈ) [key], the process or the product of ornamenting metallic surfaces with designs in relief hammered out from the back by hand. Gold and silver are most commonly used today for fine work, but copper and tin are suitable for the purpose, and bronze was extensively used in past times. The process is of ancient origin, having been employed by most early civilizations. Among the finest examples of repoussé are the famous bronze armor of Greece of the 4th cent. B.C., Byzantine religious works, and much of the gold and bronze work of Benvenuto Cellini. The process is distinct from embossing, in which the relief ornament is produced by use of dies.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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