Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Bavaria, Germany - the center of 15th and 16th century gunmaking
More on my rarest early-16th century ball molds.
From all we may conclude from contemporary, and dated, historic sources of illustration, and the very few known actually existing objects, earliest ball molds consisted of two separate halves, and very soon must have been attached by a pin-and-hole system.
Up to at least ca. 1410, they were made of limestone, which got replaced by cast brass from maybe the mid 15th century.
From ca. 1480, the first molds were equipped with wrought-iron handles, uniting the two brass halves for founding balls.
The oldest samples obviously showed two thin iron fingers, each of them attached to a loop cast integrally with the actual mold halves. The latter varied from rectangular and oval to round shapes.
From the late 15th century, the latter seem to have started being made of wrought iron throughout, their older rectangular form still refecting the Late Gothic Medieval taste of style.
The author's thesis is that at least by ca. 1500, the influence of the age of Renaissance lead to oval and rounded mold shapes, equal to the round forms barrels were taking at the turn of the century, and the dawning of the Early Modern Age.
Attachments to follow.
All objects illustrated in this thread, and published by the author, are preserved in
The Michael Trömner Collection
except noted otherwise.