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A technique of producing relief decoration by raising the surface of thin metal from the reverse to form the design. The technique is the same as in repoussé work, but the term is sometimes strictly applied to work done by mechanical means, such as the use of metal or stone dies (called 'embossing dies') as distinguished from repoussé work that is done by hand by use of punches and hammers. The process is usually applied to flat metal, but it is sometimes used to decorate hollow ware by means of a snarling iron that impresses the design from the interior.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson