Friday 4 March 2011

Wax tablets

A few weeks ago we have made some wax tablets and styli. We already had one wax tablet (the large one on the photos), but I discovered on internet that a 14th century wax tablet was found in York, United Kingdom. This was in fact a set of eight small wax tablets in a leather case, which included a love poem on one of the tablets. The wax tablets are very thin, 1.5 mm (x 3 x 5 cm), much thinner than I previously thought possible. Our old wax tablet was 1.2 cm thick! The new tablets are not that thin, only 4 mm, but have writing wax on both sides of the tablet. The tablets are made of cherry wood and finished with linseed oil. The beeswax was coloured with hearth-black, which can be commercially bought (or home made).

The styli are made of a brass rod and hammered flat at one end. The point was filed as well as some decorations. The styli were then sanded and polished. 

A good resource on (Roman and Medieval) wax tablets can be found at

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