Special Presentation: What is Gold Damascene?

Today were are going to do something a bit different than normal, and take a detailed look at an intersection of arms and art: gold damascene. This is a type of art used to embellish a wide variety of objects, including firearms.

Gold damascene enjoyed a renaissance in Spain in the mid 1850s thanks to the work of a man named Placido Zuloaga and his father. During this time, and at Placido’s hands, the form changed from a simple background to show off engraving into a technique of primary artistry.

In this video, we will look at:

  • What gold damascening actually is (compared to other forms of artistic embellishment)
  • How the art form developed from the 1850s until the current day
  • How damascening is actually done
  • The main different styles
  • How to discern good damascening from outstanding damascening and mediocre damascening

Hopefully, this will leave you with both a new appreciation and a new understanding of damascening!


  1. Are these guns from a private collection or in a museum open to the public?
    Very interesting video. Thanks.

  2. I have never been a sucker for the lustre of gold, but the workmanship on these is simply incredible. Excellent presentation on the technique and interesting subchapter of embellishment history.

  3. So magnificent… It puts all of our machine-done gun art to shame… So much bling and yet the pistols are still functional. A true blend of functional arms, industrial progress, and artistic talent worthy of the highest praise. Skills that damascened that Star MMS cannot be found on trees. For that matter, how many artisans on average managed to master the art?

  4. I’ve have learned at least 2 new words, and Lewis magazine’s worth of new facts about all sorts of thing! Cheers mate.

    Only thing missing was crediting the collection.

  5. Masterpieces created by native masters on all native handguns. The 1910 Nagant revolver seems interesting. I remembered gold damascened Llama pistol and revolver adds in old “Gun Digest” issues.

  6. Obviously meant for controlling a “better” class of miscreant, who wouldn’t deign to be arrested by anyone carrying a common plastic 9mm.

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