Welcome to my papyrus stand. I have the very best papyrus around. No cheap imitations here!
Note: This is created for Panhistoria, an online roleplay, but anyone's welcome!
Papyrus sheets -- Papyrus rolls -- Painted Papyrus Sheets -- Invitations and Thank You Cards
Inks -- Smoothing Stones -- Reed Brushes -- Slates -- Kits -- Wrapping Paper -- Used Papyrus
We mainly sell papyrus sheets, but we also sell a few of the following:
Ropes -- Baskets -- Strips for Boat Caulkinng
For the bigger items, like mattresses, mats, and tables, please see other fine merchants. Sorry, we don't sell papyrus food, medicine, or perfume, either.
We have the common sizes, 9-10 inches, by 5-51/2 inches, as well as other sizes. Another common size is 29-33 cm. We have sizes up to 45-47 cm. or a "short cubit," and 22 cm in width.
Highest quality sheets: Using the innermost pith layer is crucial for high quality sheets, and our sheets are made from the center of properly aged papyrus plants from the Delta. These are great for religious or literary purposes.
We have varying qualities of sheets, varying in the age of the plant, which layer the strip came from, and whether the plant grew in the Delta. However, all stems for sheets come from papyrus growing in the best conditions; only then does the papyrus grow big enough to make strips wide enough for papyrus sheets.
We have both light and dark shades.
We have many rolls, as this is more popular than the single sheets. We have the conventionally sized roll, which is 20 sheets, but we also have other sizes. All our rolls are rolled so that the preferred side is ready to be written on first (where the fibers run horizontally for easier writing). The fibers in the sheets in the rolls (scrolls) all go the same direction, except for the last sheet, which goes the other way for extra strength. The best sheets are at the ends for extra strength. We also glue an extra strip of papyrus at the end of the roll along the margins.
Our ink powders come in red and black. We make our red ink from ochre, and it is ready to be mixed with gelatin, gum, and bee wax. Our black ink is made from carbon or soot. Add water and gum.
We have both fine and heavy brushes, ready to put in the center of your box.
Keep them firm by chewing on the end (it's just fiber).
These have an indentations on one side for small cakes of red and black ink, and a groove for the reed pens.
To keep the brushes in place, small pieces of wood have been glued at the opening. Boxes can come with a sliding cover which also keeps the brushes in.
We offer coarser, cheaper paper for wrapping purposes. Merchants can buy in bulk at a discount. So that we can pass on savings to you, we don't use papyrus strips from the centers of the plants.
For our less well-off patrons, we offer papyrus that has already been written on the side where the fibers run horizontally (the recto), but has not been written on the side where the fibers run vertically (verso).
You can also buy our used papyrus for making cartonnage (papyrus stiffened with gesso and painted or gilded for a mummy's mask).
To make our fine ropes, we use papyrus stems that aren't thick enough for making good sheets.
We also use papyrus stems to make fine baskets in many sizes.
We have papyrus strips ready to be used to caulk papyrus boats. We don't make boats here, but we can give you recommendations if your papyrus boat has become waterlogged and you need another one.
The papyrus plant is the honored symbol of Lower Egypt. We get ours from the best papyrus stalks in the Delta, but papyrus also grows in other areas along the Nile. Because it is said that papyrus grew in the Primeval Mound of Creation, papyrus columns are popular in hypostyle halls in temples. The columns can have either open or closed buds as their capitals. Papyrus can grow to 10 feet. Some say that we've been making papyrus sheets since the First Dynasty, but we probably had been making it even earlier. We predict it will be used for a long time.
Seers say that a future writing medium, "paper" will get its name from our papyrus. Our word for it originally meant "that which belongs to the house" because it was associated with our bureaucracy. The stems are light yet strong, and are very durable.
Making the papyrus sheets is a state monopoly and is a guarded secret, so we aren't going to tell you how we do it! Besides, Egyptians have made papyrus sheets in different ways. But this is in general what we do:
The triangular reed stems of papyrus plants are cut, their green exterior fiber is stripped, and they are soaked in water for three days, or four to six days to make the strips pliable and to get rid of the sugar. This creates the light colored papyrus. For a darker look, we soak for over a week or even a month.
They are cut into thin, broad strips and beaten with a hammer to make them flat. Then they are laid out next to each other with the sides overlapping a bit, and we may or may not add a layer of resin. Then we add a second layer at right angles to the first. This is pounded again, pressed with a weight and dried for about six days for the light look, and pressed for up to two months for the darker. The darker sheets can have a slightly hairy look along the edges because some of the natural glue has been lost. However, some feel the dark look gives the papyrus an aged, historical look The sugar still in the papyrus keeps the strips together. Then the sheets are polished with a shell or piece of ivory. The strips are never woven. Others may place strips alternating vertical and horizontal in each layer, but we feel that makes a rougher surface. Single sheets can be added together to form rolls. People prefer writing on the side where the fibers run horizontally (the recto). Of course, you can also write on the other side, where the fibers run vertically (the verso). We think nothing will compare with papyrus sheets. Even if someone comes up with another way to make something to write on, we feel it won't be as durable.
Papyrus comes in several shades, but light papyrus clearly shows veins if held up to the light. Artwork painted on material cheaper than papyrus can flake.
"Ancient Egyptian Papyrus" http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/egypt/dailylife/papyrus.html
"Ancient Egyptian Writing Kit." Kingtutshop.com. http://www.kingtutshop.com/WritingKit/writingkit.htm
Bunson, "papyrus, scribes."
Dunn, Jimmy. (1999-2005). "Historical Papyrus." Tour Egypt Feature. InterCity Oz, Inc. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/papyrus.htm
Khalil, Diaa. (1999-2005) "Tricks of the Trade: Purchasing Fine Papyrus Artwork." Tour Egypt Feature.InterCity Oz, Inc. http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ppapryus.htm
Shaw and Nicholson, "papyrus."