In spite of the ever increasing interest in Islamic
ceramics, information on kilns, moulds and other
related objects is still relatively scarce. What is
known is that moulds were used even before the
creation of fritware, for the production of lead
glazed relief ware during the early Abbasid
period (8th-9th centuries CE), and always were
made of red or buff earthenware. A reliable
attribution of provenance and dating is quite a
difficult task, since the actual place whence these
moulds originated is not known.
The moulds can be typologically divided into two
groups: moulds for the interior of the vessel and
moulds for the shaping of the exterior of the
The mould here illustrated is made of red
earthenware in a hemispherical form, the inside
carrying the bas-relief decoration, consisting of
a concentric epigraphic band of plaited Kufic
characters, set against a busy dotted
background, confined on the rim by a band of
incised vertical lines.
It is clear that it was used for the exterior
decoration on a bowl of similar size, possibly one
lead-glazed relief bowl, as the dotted
background was characteristic of this type of
early Abbasid period ware.
For a comparable example see:
G. Fehervari, Ceramics of the Islamic world,
2000: no. 20, p. 37.