The New International Encyclopædia/Chasing

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CHASING (short form of enchase; Fr. enchâsser, from en + châsse, frame, OF. casse, It. cassa, Cat., Lat. capsa, case, from capere, to hold). The art of working in metals by indenting. This is an art of very early times, and was practiced largely by the Greeks in ornamenting the draperies and costumes of religious figures for the temples. It is produced by punching from behind the general character of the design, which is afterwards perfected by chiseling the details. This results in a kind of embossed engraving, often of great richness. The favorite metal used for this purpose was silver, although gold, and in very early times even iron, was thus ornamented. That the art was known at a very early period may be inferred from the shield of Achilles, the ark of Cypselus, and other productions of the kind. Such portions of the colossal statues made by Phidias and Polycletus as were not of ivory were produced by this art. The statue of Athena was richly adorned in this manner. Besides Phidias and Polycletus, Myron, Mys, and Mentor were celebrated toreutic artists in antiquity, and among many moderns the most famous is Benvenuto Cellini.