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Goldforging hammer

Maglio battiloro

This is a hammer for beating precious metals into very thin foils that can be turned into coins, medals or embossed foils. Its movements are synchronised and activated by weights: with each beat of the hammer the metal strip is pushed forward to receive the next strike. Leonardo also thinks about the simultaneous movement of more than one hammer by using a single energy source. The craftsmen specialised in this activity - know as gold-beaters - are particularly numerous in XVth century Milano as goldsmith' s craft is one of the most important applied arts in the Renaissance Milanese economy.

Codex Atlanticus, sheet 29


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