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Florentine.  A surface treated with a special engraving tool which produces fine parallel lines; it is always applied twice in an oblique crosshatched pattern creating a field of diamonds. Single line engraving can be done in imitation of this tooling. In a coin or medal design the florentine pattern of diamonds can appear as texture (as in the field

as background texture) or shading in a smaller area as an engraved initial letter. The oblique crossing diamond pattern is far more pleasing to the eye than other crosshatching. See crosshatch.

The florentine engraving tool usually engraves four parallel lines at one time, this needs to be applied twice to effect the crosshatch pattern. Or a normal burin can engrave single parallel and crosshatch lines that need to be applied repeatedly. Like crosshatching, incuse florentine appears to recede from the viewer; raised florentine lines appear to advance toward the viewer. The term is named after the city of Florence (but florentine is not capitalized) and is somewhat symbolic of Italian art from this area.

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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