13th c Russian Metal plaques.

A 13th c find from the Dmitrov Kremlin includes a headdress and collar with silver gilt stamped plaques sewn on.

I made a version of the headdress plaques in brass, and helped make the die and matrix to stamp them with. I choose brass for cost purposes, though the die and matrix set can be used with other metals later. Thanks to William Beornson for advice and studio time.

I based mine on 1. Source: Golikov et al.

First, William sawed the point off a railroad spike, giving a rectangular surface for the die. Next, we filed the pattern into the end, checking the progress of the impression in clay.

Next, we used a lead puck for the matrix. After a few strikes it cracked, so we recast it into a new lead puck. After hammer conditioning, I struck the die into the puck to create the matching matrix.

Given that I wanted a high, gilt like shine, the brass sheet (.16 mm) was polished before embossing. I cut strips a little bit wider than the impression, and struck the plaques successively.

Before trimming.

The brass is thin enough to trim with shears.


Punched and filed.

I punched the sewing holes with an awl.

I intend to make a version of the found headband with some of these.


Голиков В. П., Орфинская О. В., Энговатова А. В. Исследования и реконструкция деталей костюма из погребений домонгольского времени из некрополей Дмитровского кремля // Археология Подмосковья. Материалы научного семинара. Выпуск 6. М.: Институт археологии РАН, 2010. С. 130-139.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Terri Morrison says:

    These are so much fabulous. The process information is great! Looks like fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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