1) The noun ‘swage’ is on record from 1374, descriptive of the grooving or moulding on metal objects such as basins, candlesticks and salt cellars.

e.g. 1503 an ewere of silver, the swages gilt, Stoke Rochford. From the latter part of the seventeenth century it was associated also with anvils and tools which were used for shaping or bending metal, and the term ‘swage-anvil’ occurred in 1854. According to Wright, a ‘swage-anvil’ was used for making agricultural implements. One early example in the inventory of a Yorkshire goldsmith seems likely to refer to a specialist tool capable of producing decoration on metal, a link in the word’s semantic history: 1490 De ij lez spoyn tayses xd. De ij lez stampis xiiijd. De iij lez swages vjd, York. A glossary of words used in claims after the Sheffield flood of 1864 defines it as a tool used in bending or shaping cold metal, or a stamp for marking metal.

dates 1490 1503

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