Damascus steel was a term used by several Western cultures from the Medieval period onward to describe a type of steel created in India and used in swordmaking from about 300 BC to 1700 AD. These swords were characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be not only tough and resistant to shattering, but capable of being honed to a sharp and resilient edge. William Henry’s damascus is made is made from several types of steel welded together to form a billet.
The patterns vary depending on how the damascus artist works the billet. The billet is drawn out and folded until the desired number of layers are formed. William Henry damascus billets are forged with a minimum of 300 layers. William Henry works with a handful of the very best damascus artists/forgers in the U.S.
Koftgari is the name for fine gold (and/or silver) patterns inlayed into parkerized steel. This ancient Indian technique, done entirely by hand, involves creating a very fine cross-hatch grid in the steel and then burnishing 24K gold (and/or silver) into a pattern that is bound by the cross-hatch. Parkerizing involves soaking the steel in a boiling solution of salts to oxidize the steel a deep brown/blue. Beautiful and timeless, koftgari is nearly a lost art.
William Henry’s koftgari comes from 2 small villages in India, home of the very few Indian artisans that still master this techique.
FOSSIL MAMMOTH TOOTH
From a Woolly Mammoth that walked the Earth at least 10,000 years ago.
Modern humans coexisted with woolly mammoths during the Upper Paleolithic period when they entered Europe from Africa between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago. Prior to this, Neanderthals had coexisted with mammoths during the Middle Paleolithic and up to that time. Woolly mammoths were very important to Ice Age humans, and their survival may have depended on these animals in some areas.
The woolly mammoth is the next most depicted animal in Ice Age art after horses and bisons, and these images were produced up to 11,500 years ago. Today, more than five hundred depictions of woolly mammoths are known, in media ranging from carvings and cave paintings located in 46 caves in Russia, France and Spain, to sculptures and engravings made from different materials.
William Henry’s fossil Mammoth tooth is harvested in Alaska and Siberia. It is a rare and mesmerizing material, a living testimony of the dawn of Mankind.