Chronometry: Great Damacening!

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Paul Regan, Mar 29, 2019.

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  1. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    Here is a J & A Walker 6 1/4" X 6 1/4" from about late 1850's that I just picked up. It has some of the best damascening around!
    Enjoy, Paul

    IMG_0553.JPG IMG_0552.JPG IMG_0546.JPG
     
    PatH likes this.
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Thats really nice Paul, like it a lot. Thanks for sharing.
     
  3. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    At the risk of being pedantic the finish is not damaskeening. It is scraping, a process used to make plates flat usually for things like lathe beds. Unusual and nice.
     
  4. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    Dr. Jon, you are correct sir. I guess I look at damascening as decorative scraping whether applied by hand or by machine. There is even disagreement in the spelling of the word. Oh and I believe that scraping on lathe beds is for the retention of oil on the surface and not so much for flattening the surface. My 1950's South Bend lathe still retains it's beautiful "scraping" on it's ways. ;)
     
  5. Kinpol

    Kinpol Registered User

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    It doesn't look professional...

    It looks like someone is bored and destroyed the surface of the mechanism...
     
  6. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I think the spelling relates to not just nationality but process. Damascening in English is the decoration of metals by layers of different metals to produce intricate patterns. It is said to get its name from the fabric damask which in turn gets its name Damascus, and is an English name for a style of decorated fabric.

    Damaskeening is an American term from the same root that applies to the decorative tooled finish on watch parts. In Europe it is known more commonly as Geneva stripe.
     
  7. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    Oh my KINPOL, it is professional and I believe beautiful. John Poole did lots of his movements similar but a more random pattern. Here is a sample of the random scraping.
    Paul

    DSCN4951.JPG
     
  8. Kinpol

    Kinpol Registered User

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    #8 Kinpol, Mar 31, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
    Oh my Paula Regan... Mayby it is profesional, but looks ugly...;) Here in my country we have russian Kirov's and german GUB and it is rather all... And some Ulysse Nardin's... :(
    OK, I have one Poole, and I prefer this kind of patern...

    View attachment 526090
     
  9. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    KinpoI, I guess the world would be boring if we all liked the same things.;)
     
  10. Kinpol

    Kinpol Registered User

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    You are right! :)
    Best regards from Poland...
     
  11. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I am pretty sure that the Damascus connection is via the hammered multilayer steel use to create durable sharp edged weapons. The Japanese independently developed the same technique. Some of these weapons have hundreds of layers of beaten metal. Damascened silk and other fabrics were named after the steel process and Damascus.

    I use damaskeen for the decorative process used on American watches because that term is found in some of the contemporaneous literature. I would need to check, but I think that is the name used by Stark for their tool that was employed for the highly varied designs.

    Geneva stripes, spotting and similar techniques are a greatly simplified form of the American decorations.

    All the gilt finished chronometers I have seen are either plain gilding, spotted or scraped. I do not think I have ever seen a scraped nickel finish but I would not be surprised all that much if one showed up. The very fancy Walthams have nickel alloy plates with bright nickel plating under the damaskeening process.
     
  12. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I have seen more scrapped finish on plates of astronomical clocks. I have seen it on some high end Howard clocks. This use in astronomical regulators may have been the inspiration for using it on a chronometer
     
  13. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I think Perlage and Geneva striping go back to somewhere around mid 19th century, I have 19th century scientific instruments with similar but alternative treatments.
     

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