3D figure made of sheet gold. 1st century BC Ecuador.
has been used since ancient history. Most ancient golden jewelry started off as a hammered sheet of gold. These sheets could then be cut into desired shapes or rolled up into hollow tubes. Paper thin sheets were often decorated with repoussé
. Sheet gold could be sawn, hammered and bent into figures.
With the invention of the rolling mill, sheets of gold were much easier to be obtained. Gold could be fed in between two rollers rotating in opposite directions so that a flat, even sheet of gold would be produced.