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L. Mitchell





Joined: 27 Nov 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sun 20 Aug, 2017 4:01 pm    Post subject: Two questions about pressblech         Reply with quote

Pressblech foils seem to have been used widely on Scandinavian helmets, and on some of the Anglo-Saxon helmets (Sutton Hoo, Staffordshire). If someone knows the answers, I have two basic questions about the process.

First, what is the correct spelling of "pressblech"? Various authors use "pressblech" (Coatsworth & Pinder 2002, Art of the Anglo-Saxon Goldsmith), "pressbleche" (Mortimer 2011), or "pressbleck" (Lindqvist 1925; Bruce Mitford 1949; Arrhenius & Freij 1992). Some authors even use different spellings in the same paper (Lindqvist 1925 uses "pressbleck" in Swedish, and "pressblech" in the German summary; Bruce-Mitford 1982, in The Journal of the Arms & Armour Society, uses both "pressblech" and "pressbleche"). Is there a difference between spellings?

Second, what exactly distinguishes the pressblech process from other forms of die stamping? It seems to be most frequently contrasted with (or confused with) repoussÚ work, but that seems to be completely different: punching the designs directly into the piece, rather than creating a die and mass-producing an identical pattern. Yet other forms of die stamping exists, not called pressblech. What distinguishes those forms of die stamping from pressblech?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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L. Mitchell





Joined: 27 Nov 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2017 11:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bumping this up in case anyone has any information.
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: H÷÷r, Skane
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PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2017 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Pressbleck" is Swedish
"Pressblech/Pressbleche" is German. German grammar is an artform well above my head, I assume both spellings are correct depending on context.

As for the second question, pressbleck (I'll stick to the swedish term for patriotic reasons) are indeed pressed sheet metal in dies. I believe that at least one actual die was found at a site on Íland. And a related tradition in south Scandinavia are very thin small gold pressings (Guldgubbar) are found in post-holes and around built up sites. They seem to be way more common than pressbleck. It is tempting to see the pressblecks as an extended version of the tradition to press small gold leaf figures.

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Arne G.





Joined: 31 Jul 2014

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu 09 Nov, 2017 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bjorn Hagstrom wrote:
"Pressbleck" is Swedish
"Pressblech/Pressbleche" is German. German grammar is an artform well above my head, I assume both spellings are correct depending on context.

As for the second question, pressbleck (I'll stick to the swedish term for patriotic reasons) are indeed pressed sheet metal in dies. I believe that at least one actual die was found at a site on Íland. And a related tradition in south Scandinavia are very thin small gold pressings (Guldgubbar) are found in post-holes and around built up sites. They seem to be way more common than pressbleck. It is tempting to see the pressblecks as an extended version of the tradition to press small gold leaf figures.


"Pressbleche" is likely the plural form.

4 dies were found in Íland, as a matter of fact.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 10 Nov, 2017 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Yet other forms of die stamping exists, not called pressblech. What distinguishes those forms of die stamping from pressblech?"

"Pressblech" involves a patrix, a positive image, rather than a matrix, which is the usual method of die stamping.

The foil is placed over the patrix and a yielding medium (lead, leather etc) is placed over the top of that and then hammered, forcing the foil down over the patrix.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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