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Pointillé is a decorative technique in which patterns are formed on a surface by a means of punched dots. The technique is similar to embossing or engraving but is done manually and does not cut into the surface being decorated. Pointillé was commonly used to decorate arms and armor starting in the fifteenth century . The Holy Thorn Reliquary in the British Museum, made in France at the end of the 14th century, has very fine and delicate pointillé work in gold.
Common uses of pointillé
Pointillé is commonly used:
- in the decoration of metallic arms and armor
- in the decoration of hand-finished firearms
- in bookbinding to finish hand-made bookcovers 
- "Techniques of Decoration on Arms and Armor". Timeline of Art History. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2005-12-02.
- "Pointillé". Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology. Etherington & Roberts. Retrieved 2005-12-02.
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