Lost-Wax Casting Quiz



9 Questions

What is lost-wax casting?

What is the oldest known example of lost-wax casting?

What materials can be used in lost-wax casting?

What is the use of lost-wax casting in dentistry?

Which region was the first to use lost-wax casting in China?

What is rōgata in Japan?

What literary works allude to lost-wax casting?

What is the name of the treatise that includes step-by-step procedures for making various articles by lost-wax casting?

Where was lost-wax casting used in pre-Columbian times?


Lost-Wax Casting: A Detailed Overview

  • Lost-wax casting is a process of creating a duplicate metal sculpture from an original sculpture, often using metals like silver, gold, brass, or bronze.

  • The oldest known examples of this technique are approximately 6,500 years old and attributed to gold artifacts found at Bulgaria's Varna Necropolis.

  • The steps used in casting small bronze sculptures are fairly standardized, though the process today varies from foundry to foundry.

  • The lost-wax process can be used with any material that can burn, melt, or evaporate to leave a mold cavity.

  • In dentistry, gold crowns, inlays, and onlays are made by the lost-wax technique.

  • The lost-wax casting process may also be used in the production of cast glass sculptures.

  • Cast gold knucklebones, beads, and bracelets, found in graves at Bulgaria's Varna Necropolis, have been dated to approximately 6500 years BP.

  • Some of the oldest known examples of the lost-wax technique are the objects discovered in the Nahal Mishmar hoard in southern Land of Israel.

  • In Mesopotamia, from c. 3500–2750 BC, the lost-wax technique was used for small-scale and then later large-scale copper and bronze statues.

  • The oldest known example of applying the lost-wax technique to copper casting comes from a 6,000-year-old copper, wheel-shaped amulet found at Mehrgarh, Pakistan.

  • The lost-wax technique came to be known in the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age and was a major metalworking technique utilized in the ancient Mediterranean world, notably during the Classical period of Greece for large-scale bronze statuary and in the Roman world.

  • Examples of works made using the lost-wax casting process in Ancient Greece are largely unavailable due to the common practice in later periods of melting down pieces to reuse their materials.Lost-wax casting in different regions and time periods

  • Lost-wax casting was used in China from around 600 BCE, with the Chu culture being the first to use it.

  • Japan also used lost-wax casting, known as rōgata, and the bronze image of Buddha in the Todaiji monastery at Nara was made using the technique.

  • Ban Na Di in Thailand used the lost-wax technique to make bronze bangles, and decorative items like bracelets and rings were likely made using the same method.

  • Bronze casting was used in Africa from the 9th century in Igboland, the 12th century in Yorubaland, and the 15th century in Benin, where they produced portraiture and reliefs in the metal using the lost wax process.

  • The lost-wax casting tradition was developed by the peoples of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, northwest Venezuela, Andean America, and the western portion of South America, producing gold wire and delicate wire ornament.

  • Literary works, such as De Re Rustica and Pliny the Elder, allude to lost-wax casting, with the latter detailing a sophisticated procedure for making Punic wax.

  • The lost-wax method is well documented in ancient Indian literary sources, including the Shilpa Shastras and the Vishnusamhita.

  • Theophilus Presbyter wrote a treatise in the early-to-mid-12th century that includes original work and copied information from other sources, including step-by-step procedures for making various articles by lost-wax casting.

  • The Dunaverney and Little Thetford flesh-hooks in Northern Europe were made using a lost-wax process.

  • The Gloucester Candlestick was made as a single-piece wax model in Northern Europe before being invested in a mould.

  • Lost-wax casting was used in pre-Columbian times in Colombia's Muisca and Sinú cultural areas, and the method did not appear in Mexico until the 10th century.


Take our Lost-Wax Casting quiz to test your knowledge about this ancient metalworking technique. Discover the history and evolution of lost-wax casting from its earliest known examples to its use in different regions and time periods. Learn about the materials used, the steps involved in the process, and its applications in art, sculpture, dentistry, and more. Challenge yourself with questions about lost-wax casting in different cultures and see how much you know about this fascinating technique.

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