Sounds like some sort of medieval punishment, well unless you get your thumbs in the way its not.
Can be worked in most metals, normally silver, brass of copper, pewter and lead are too soft and will not hold an edge.
Effectively, another word for planished would be hammered, a method of striking metal, with a steel hammer at different angles, to make a a criss cross, hammered, literately small dents and peaks into the metal, particularity popular in the Arts and Crafts movement in a knee jerk reaction against the flowing organic lines of the Art Nouveau movement.
A sort after genre in it own right and a give away regarding craftsmanship and quality.
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