From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with precious metals, usually, to make jewelry, valuable flatware, platters, goblets, decorative and serviceable utensils, and ceremonial or religious items. The printmaking technique of engraving developed among goldsmiths in Germany around 1430, who had long used the technique on their metal pieces. The notable engravers of the 1400s either were goldsmiths, as was Master E. S., or the sons of goldsmiths, such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer.
Gold has been worked by humans in all cultures where the metal is available, either indigenously or imported, and the history of these activities is extensive. Superbly made objects from the ancient cultures of Europe, Africa, India, Asia, South America, Mesoamerica, and North America grace museums and collections around the world. Some pieces date back thousands of years and were made using many techniques that are still used by modern goldsmiths.
In medieval Europe goldsmiths were organized in guilds and were usually one of the most important and wealthy of the guilds in a city. The guild kept records of members and the marks they used on their products. These records, when they survive, are very useful to historians. Goldsmiths often acted as bankers, since they dealt in gold and had sufficient security for the safe storage of valuable items. In the Middle Ages, goldsmithing normally included silversmithing as well, but the brass workers and workers in other base metals were normally in a separate guild, since the trades were not allowed to overlap. Many jewelers were also goldsmiths. The Khudabadi Sindhi Swarankar community is one of the oldest communities in goldsmithing in India, whose superb gold artworks were displayed at The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.
The printmaking technique of engraving developed among goldsmiths in Germany around 1430, who had long used the technique on their metal pieces. The notable engravers of the 15th century were either goldsmiths, such as Master E. S., or the sons of goldsmiths, such as Martin Schongauer and Albrecht Dürer.
Goldsmiths and printmaking
- Society of North American Goldsmiths
- Old master print, engraving, and niello - goldsmith's techniques or related trades in the Middle Ages
- Bench jeweler
- Persian-Sassanide art patterns
- Jewelers' Row
- Silver (household)