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Ancient lost wax casting book?


Can anyone recommend a good book on ancient lost wax casting for
jewelry? Different types of investments etc. I occasionally do work
for museums and am looking for info on the subject.

Thanks so much,
Chris H.


It’s all experimental, however Anders Soderberg may be your best

Kindest regards Charles A.


Chris, I recommend P. R. S. Moorey’s book, Ancient Mesopotamian
Materials and Industries
(Oxford; 1994),pp. 228, 269-273, and
references he cites. Two pages of nice photographs showing how
lost-wax casting is done can be found on pp. 78-79 in Percy Knauth
(ed.), The Metalsmiths (Time-Life Book series: The Emergence of
Man; New York, 1974).

Judy Bjorkman
Owego, NY


Thanks very much Charles Anderson! This is a wonderfully site!



I was travelling and away from my library when this request went

Hopefully this will still be helpful:

On Divers Arts by Theophilus. Dover Press. Pragmatic how-to book,
circa 1100 AD, covering a host of metal and glass topics by an actual

It’s a good read.

The Pirotechnica of Vannoccio Biringuccio, by Vannoccio Biringuccio,
Dover Press. Pragmatic how-to book, circa 1530 AD, on metallurgy and

Has a big section on casting, but I forget whether he uses sand
casting, lost wax casting, or both.

The Traditional Crafts of Persia by Hans Wulff, MIT Press. Covers a
wide variety of crafts as practiced in Persia circa 1930 AD. However,
a lot of them at that time were very much the same as those practiced
in the middle ages (and before). Wulff is careful to note when he
believes artists are using a new technique vs. a long standing
traditional one.

Metal Casting by Steve Hurst, ITDG Publishing. Covers a variety of
low-tech methods of casting, including medieval West African and Inca
methods. (I found the Inca method to be quite unique.)

Persian Metal Technology 700-1300 AD by James Allan, Ithaca Press.
Stronger on metallurgical info than crafting techniques, but an
excellent resource for those delving into older technologies.