Aluminium scroll-making was first introduced in Iraq and Eastern Turkey, and began soon after the smelting of Mongolian bauxite had achieved the subtlety to make it viable for weapons, ornamental decorations for Icons, and of course the thin sheets used for scrolls, made by laboriously hand-rolling using carefully honed and precise steel rollers mounted on hardwood frames.
Many objects, as this Imperial wall decoration for the Khan's royal bedroom, were only recently found to be tooled aluminium, painted using special veneers.
|Aluminium Floral Decoration in Relief|
Other uses included box and book covers, where the heavier Aluminium sheets of the early times were better suited and more durable, than woods and leathers.
|Early Aluminium Box Cover|
|Aluminium Scroll-making tools|
Military use of Aluminium sheet, made into continous rolls from early wooden outdoor smelters, began with the making of the vast lists of personnel and supplies needed for the early Mongol campaigns. The invention of 'tin-snips' of various sizes to accommodate the new medium was developed out of the popular sheep-shears originally used to remove wool.
|The Legendary Aluminium Army Rosters, |
Kublah Kahn, Copenhagen Museum
|Aluminium Bars prepared for 'turning'.|
In order to save costs and materials, aluminium was often made as thin as possible, and backed by heavy felt to give it durability and a solid feel. But scribes were prone to poking holes in the thin surface, and so the practice was discontinued.
|Mixed media Aluminium/felt scrolls|
|Semi-automated pattern stamping from Turkey|
Techniques of dieing and fixing color to aluminium, now known chemically as anodization, was practiced from ancient times, but improved as religious centers like Venice took up the expanding trade and manufacture of aluminium codices.
|Aluminium scroll colors available c. 640 A.D.|
Of course the new materials were applied in all spheres of life in this central area of Asia Minor. Here below are displayed common cooking implements made from aluminium and more rarely, pewter.
|Turkish Pottery from the Aluminium Era|