Materials & Techniques

Sheet Metal

Ancient goldsmiths made sheet metal by hammering an ingot on an anvil. Because the metal became work-hardened and brittle during this process, it was occasionally annealed by being heated to a cherry red and quickly cooled in water. Most of the ancient jewelry in the DMA's collection was made at least partially from sheet metal, indicating that it was a common material for the ancient goldsmith.

Excerpt from

Barbara Deppert-Lippitz, with contributions from Anne R. Bromberg and John Dennis, Ancient Gold Jewelry at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art in association with the University of Washington Press, 1996), 21.