Silver & goldsmithing tools - research / help needed!

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just an archer
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Silver & goldsmithing tools - research / help needed!

Postby just an archer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 1:57 pm

Hello all!

I'm trying to find references, descriptions and pictures of tools used between 600-1100 for silver/goldsmithing, and hoped you knowledgeable lot might be able to point me in the right direction...

Can anyone provide book titles, web references, pictures, etc at all? I've looked for books in local shops, library, amazon and even googled (you'd be amazed at what actually came up a lot of the time) and I haven't found anything concrete.

I'm hoping some of you might have already read some good books along these lines, and can give me some ideas!

p.s. not expecting full posts containing all information, I'm more than happy to read the books, just need to find some!

Thanks to all in advance

Jon aka just an archer


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davetmoneyer
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Postby davetmoneyer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:20 pm

Hi an excellent book is
Theophillus ,On Diverse Arts,

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DTM


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Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:21 pm

Check out the Mastermier Casket. It has general metal and wood working tools but I reckon a gold or silversmith would have had similar if somewhat smaller metaworking tools. The thing that always gets me when I look at the Mastermier tools is just how close they are to modern ones. Still, if it aint broke, why fix it?


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Postby Medicus Matt » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:59 pm

David Hinton's "Gold, Gilt, Pots and Pins" is worth a look, as is Leahy's "Anglo Saxon Crafts".

Theophilus (11th C) is excellent on the "How to", as is the 'Mappae Clavicula' (9th C, primarily concerning painting but has useful recepies for other 'arts' as well.

I think that an early medieval silversmith's workshop has been excavated in Dublin? Not sure what tools were found. I'll check.


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just an archer
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Postby just an archer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:22 pm

Dave - Thanks for the info, I've found the book, and have added it to an order list I'm building!

Neil - Thanks for that, I hadn't thought of using similar to the mastermier tools, which is silly of me as I've been wanting to build a similar set for ages! I'll dig out the brochure I had on them, and find some pictures.

Matt - I have Gold & Gilt, Pots and Pins and I've found it useful (or at least, until my other half 'borrowed' it), and I'll look up Leahy's Anglo Saxon Crafts (I'm ordering a copy now). I'll see if I can find out anything on the silversmith's workshop in Dublin, but please feel free to post anything you find!

Of course, any extra posts always welcome. My reading list is building...


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Postby davetmoneyer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:32 pm

Hi Ecaniron do very good Mastermyer tool sets
regards
dave


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just an archer
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Postby just an archer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:44 pm

He certainly does, I've got a couple of his already, and keep meaning to buy more - which reminds me, I did email him to ask for a quote, but never got a response... must chase up!


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Postby John Waller » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:38 pm

http://web.ceu.hu/medstud/manual/SRM/technology.htm

Have a look. Has some pics of workshops which though later than your period may be of interest.


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Postby just an archer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:03 pm

Thanks, that's a good read and very informative! It's good to see that many of the tools aren't actually that dissimilar (if not almost identical) to those still in use today.

I found this link while doing some reading up, a fascinating read!

http://www.lcm.rug.nl/lcm/teksten/teksten_uk/gold_disc_on_bow_brooch_uk.htm


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Jewellery books

Postby gaukler » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:04 pm

The one you really want to look for is The Art of the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith: Fine Metalwork in Anglo-Saxon England: its Practice and Practitioners, by Coatsworth and Pinder. Super book, great bibliography. You should also search for Ancient jewelry and Archaeology by Adriana Calinescu. Bloomington : Indiana University Press, c1996, and Ancient Jewellery (Interpreting the Past Series) by Jack Ogden. Theophilus is a good primary written source, but Coatsworth and the others will help you understand what Theophilus is talking about. ISBNs and other info can be found by searching Amazon, or my LibraryThing page- http://www.librarything.com/catalog/gaukler , which may have other titles of interest. Check bookfinder.com for the best used prices.
mark


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Postby just an archer » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:51 pm

Thanks gaukler!

I've looked up the first listed (ISBN 0851158838 for anyone interested) but finding a copy for less than £57.00 is proving sadly a little too costly for me at the moment.

Ancient jewelry and Archaeology is even worse, at £113.00!

The Jack Ogden one seems more affordable to me, I just wish I had the cash to spend on the other books... I'll have to make enquiries at the library.


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Karen Larsdatter
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Re: Silver & goldsmithing tools - research / help needed

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:51 am

I don't have any images as early as what you're looking for, but maybe the linkspage at http://larsdatter.com/goldsmiths.htm will help -- especially the Alexander of Neckham quote, come to think of it. :)



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Postby Hobbitstomper » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:28 am

£60 for that book is the right price.

If you want a shock look up Medieval European Jewellery by Ronald Lightbown (note spelling). £500+ to you sir, if you can find a copy!
If anyone has a copy of this book I can borrow for a little while I'd really appreciate it.

Another good resource is the portable antiquities scheme. Their database is really good and the treasure reports give you a very easy source of pretty things to make.



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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:27 pm

You might also want to pre-order a copy of Vol 2 of the Flixborough report which is due to be published this year. It's got details of the finds excavated from over 40 buildings of a mid/late A-S community, including metalworking sites.

Been waiting AGES for this damned thing...

http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm/ID/82590


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Postby Hobbitstomper » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:13 pm

Also maybe worth looking up:

“A silver saga” as some excellent pictures of Viking jewellery.

There is a book about Viking period treasure hoards in Scotland which might be relevant if you are after inspiration. No tools in it, just lots of pictures of Hiberno-Norse bling. Not cheap but a good reference.

“Metalwork and Enamelling” by Marion has a lot on useful techniques and can be picked up quite cheaply. Not much on tools but it will explain how to use them.

For general metalwork “De Re Metallica” has some analyses of a bit of medieval jewellery and ironwork but make sure you get the book written a few years ago and not a reprint of the post-medieval book of the same name. Probably not worth getting unless you are in to metallurgy or feeling rich.

If you do later period stuff then Cellini has lots to say in his books (usually about how clever he thinks he is). He wrote several but a lot of the stuff he describes doesn’t apply to Viking/Saxon stuff. Can often be found cheap in second hand book shops.



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Postby just an archer » Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:15 pm

Thanks Karen, I shall have a good look through that site.

Hobbitstomper - I appreciate that some books are more expensive than others, it's just a pity that my budget can't stretch to either of them! I shall look up the portable antiquities, with thanks.

I've seen the 'Silver Saga' book, but I'm more interested in the tools at the moment (I have a few books on the jewellery etc already). I've also seen De Re Metallica, and it sounds interesting from the refining sections alone, may order a copy if I can find one at an affordable price!

I'm looking more for tools than for techniques as I have books etc, and am already a silversmith - albeit with modern tools, still using techniques centuries old... I'm just wanting to do some research on the tools I can use/need to make/get made in order to potentially demo.

My first project resulting from this is a nice small bellows....!

Of course, if I'm to base it entirely on pictorial evidence, anyone got any idea where I can find an ape, several small dogs and what I can only interpret as two small birds making other birds? http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/master/balaam/eligius.html


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Postby davetmoneyer » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:42 am

Hi just found in my library a book that may assist in designs etc (no tools though)
BAR II(i) 1975 - Anglo-Saxon disc and Composite Brooches Part i Discussion by Richard Avent


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Postby just an archer » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:05 pm

Thanks Dave, I'll make a note of that one.


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Postby Skevmeister » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:49 pm

Make request for these book svia teh british library at you local library.

Unfortuantely, these type of books due to the limit market are always going to be more expensive.

Alixx


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Postby Medicus Matt » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:58 pm

I knew I was forgetting something.
You'll be wanting a copy of Hinton's "A Smith in Lindsey", a monograph on the 7th century Anglo Saxon burial of a travelling smith. It includes drawing and photos of the tools from the burial which include small and medium sized hammers, tinsnips, files, a soldering lamp, punches, a draw plate, tongs and a small stake anvil.

ISBN is 1902653289

You might find Pinder's "Aspects of Seventh Century Anglo SaxonGoldsmithing (in "Pattern and Purpose in Insular Art") interesting too.It's got some details on production of fluted/swaged decorative metalwork.


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just an archer
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Postby just an archer » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:51 pm

Oooh!! Thanks Matt, that sounds fantastic - I have just (hopefully) snaffled the last stock copy on Amazon...

I've had a few books arrive so far, and some are very interesting and an excellent read, so I shall be doing lots of reading and notemaking!

I have plenty to be getting on with now, but keep any more recommendations coming! I'm sure there are plenty of lurkers finding this thread just as helpful and informative as I am.


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Postby Medicus Matt » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:53 pm

Handy site, Mastermyr tools online.

http://www.netlabs.net/~osan/Mastermyr/ImageLib.html


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