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This fine musket ball mould has been carved from solid stone. It is from the Berber people of the central Anti-Atlas Mountains and comprises two matching halves with space inside to mould from lead six separate spheres. Some of the exterior surfaces have been etched with zig-zag patterns. One end of the mould has a pair of inlets through which the molten metal can be poured.
Very similar examples are illustrated in Splendeurs (1998, p. 16).
Muskets were used by the Berbers often at festivals and were fired into the air in celebration, as well as in battle.
The set here is a superb example. It has the most wonderful patina from use and handling. The contours of the stone have been worn smooth and the colour is lustrous. Importantly, both halves are a precise match – they have always been together.
Splendeurs du Maroc, Musee Royal de l’Afrique Central, Belgium, 1998.