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Function: Dies or Models?

  • Florin Curta
  • Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski
Chapter
Part of the New Approaches to Byzantine History and Culture book series (NABHC)

Abstract

Long believed to be dies, the Velestino plaques most likely had a different (production) role. They are similar in at least one respect with contemporaneous artefacts made of lead: they all have a flat backside. As such, those artefacts have been interpreted as models for casting. A lead model was necessary for obtaining the mother-mould, which was created when the model was pressed into a piece of soft, damp clay. When the clay dried, the open section of the mother-mould was filled with molten wax. Once hardened, the wax model was taken out of the mother-mould, packed in clay, and baked at a high temperature. The result was a clay mould, into which the molten metal was poured to burn out the wax and to produce the final cast. The final cast was thus a duplicate of the original lead model. The resulting casts may have been cast appliques meant to decorate shields or furniture, such as chests, armoires or beds.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Florin Curta
    • 1
  • Bartłomiej Szymon Szmoniewski
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Archaeology and EthnologyPolish Academy of SciencesKrakówPoland

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