Book Cover Plaque: Christ in Majesty, ca. 1185-1210

Made in Limoges, France

Gilded copper and champlevé enamel

Champlevé is an enamelling technique in the decorative arts, or an object made by that process, in which troughs or cells are carved into the surface of a metal object, and filled with vitreous enamel. The piece is then fired until the enamel melts, and when cooled the surface of the object is polished. The uncarved portions of the original surface remain visible as a frame for the enamel designs.

Champlevé is distinguished from the similar technique of Cloisonné in which the troughs are created by soldering flat metal strips to the surface of the object. The difference between the techniques is analogous to the woodworking techniques of intarsia and marquetry.

see also ~ Cloisonné.com

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