Name of Object:

Casting mould

Location:

Madrid, Spain

Holding Museum:

National Archaeological Museum

About National Archaeological Museum, Madrid

Date of Object:

Hegira 4th–5th centuries / AD 10th–11th centuries

Museum Inventory Number:

1956/45/6 (2)

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Incised slate.

Dimensions:

Height 5 cm, width 3.4 cm, depth 0.7 cm

Period / Dynasty

Umayyads of al-Andalus, Caliphate period

Provenance:

San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria, Spain.

Description:

Rectangular, slightly trapezoidal, slate engraved on both sides. In each of its four corners there are holes and pivots used to attach the other half of the casting mould. On one of the faces, between two parallel lines that delineate the central area, there is a six-petal flower within a sunken circle, and below that a sprue for the molten metal. The other face, with its corresponding pivots, holes and sprue, includes a small disk that resembles a coin bearing a three-line kufic inscription and a ring for hanging it up on top.
This type of mould with two separate shells that could be used on both sides enabled the serial production of small items of jewellery such as pendants and amulets. The metal would have been melted in a crucible and poured into the mould to obtain the desired shape and, once it had cooled and solidified, it would only have required minor touching up with the appropriate tools.
Although middle-class Andalusian women would have regularly worn this type of adornment, very few remains of this type of jewellery have survived, probably because the metal was continuously refounded and reused.

View Short Description

This mould was used for mass-producing low-cost jewellery for people of modest status. The shape of the piece was carved out of each of the two halves, which were then joined together so that liquid metal could be poured in through the funnels. The resulting piece was polished by hand.

How date and origin were established:

This slate is part of a group of four casting mould shells that probably came from the same small jeweller's workshop. The decorative and epigraphic motifs engraved in them allow us to date them to the Caliphate period.

How Object was obtained:

The piece is one of a number of moulds acquired by the State through Ministerial Order of 30 April 1958. The exact date it came to the National Archaeological Museum is unknown.

How provenance was established:

According to the paperwork, these pieces were bought from the great researcher, archaeologist and historian Manuel Gómez Moreno (Granada 1870–Madrid 1970), who suggested a potential origin of San Esteban de Gormaz, Soria.

Selected bibliography:


Memorias de los Museos Arqueológicos 1958–61, Vols. XIX a XXII, Madrid, 1963, pp.46–9.
Zozaya, J., “Antigüedades Andalusíes de los Siglos VIII al XV”, in Guía General del Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Vol. II, Madrid, 1991, p.66.

Citation of this web page:

Margarita Sánchez Llorente "Casting mould" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;es;Mus01;18;en

Prepared by: Margarita Sánchez LlorenteMargarita Sánchez Llorente

Margarita Sánchez Llorente cursó estudios de Historia del Arte y Psicología en la facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, obteniendo la licenciatura en 1974.Tras realizar numerosos cursos de posgrado en museología y documentación del patrimonio histórico-artístico y arqueológico, le fueron concedidas varias becas de investigación en museística. De 1989 a 2000 trabajó en el Museo Arqueológico Nacional, en la gestión y documentación de los proyectos de la Unión Europea: EMN (European Museum Network), RAMA (Remote Access to Museum Archives) y –como colaboradora del departamento de Antigüedades Egipcias y del Próximo Oriente– Champollion. Ha participado en numerosos coloquios y encuentros internacionales y publicado varios artículos sobre las nuevas tecnologías aplicadas a la documentación en los museos.

Copyedited by: Rosalía AllerRosalía Aller

Rosalía Aller Maisonnave, licenciada en Letras (Universidad Católica del Uruguay), y en Filología Hispánica y magíster en Gestión Cultural de Música, Teatro y Danza (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), ha obtenido becas de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y la Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia de Madrid, así como el Diplôme de Langue Française (Alliance Française), el Certificate of Proficiency in English (University of Cambridge) y el Certificado Superior en inglés y francés (Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Madrid). Profesora de Estética de la Poesía y Teoría Literaria en la Universidad Católica del Uruguay, actualmente es docente de Lengua Castellana y Literatura en institutos de Enseñanza Secundaria y formación del profesorado en Madrid. Desde 1983, ha realizado traducción y edición de textos en Automated Training Systems, Applied Learning International, Videobanco Formación y El Derecho Editores. Integra el equipo de Museo Sin Fronteras desde 1999 y ha colaborado en la revisión de los catálogos de “El Arte Islámico en el Mediterráneo”. Así mismo, ha realizado publicaciones sobre temas literarios y didácticos, ha dictado conferencias y ha participado en recitales poéticos.

Translation by: Laurence Nunny
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: SP 30

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Islamic Dynasties / Period

Umayyads of al-Andalus


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