Engine Turning / Guilloché
Engine turning (or Guilloché) is a method of machine engraving precise, repeat straight line or geometrical patterns and designs onto a base metal – a process that has been used in metalwork since the late 18th century. Using a mechanical Rose Engine or ‘Decorative Lathe’, an unlimited variation of patterns could be created and then precisely engraved into these metals, giving an almost three-dimensional, decorative finish that catches and reflects the light beautifully off its surfaces.
Engine Turning work was often used to decorate the silver lids of the dressing case and vanity box fittings. Occasionally, this process was also used to enhance the interior brass fittings, as an alternative or accompaniment to hand engraving.