Bronze Die or Mold
Place of Origin: India
Date: 17th-19th Century
A small bronze multi-impression die from India, 17th-19th century. A fascinating curiosity, the convex surface is efficiently covered with decorative impressions in the form of symmetrical flowers, teardrop shapes, and small circles - some arranged in a pyramid or square formation. The rear is flat to provide a stable work surface. The upper, and more exposed surface has beautifully patinated to a deep golden yellow colour, the underside, more protected and less handled, has maintained its natural silvery colour which exposes the high content of tin to give the die a higher degree of hardness.
The compact nature of this object, and the efficient use of the surface area, suggests that it was used by somebody for whom space was a premium. A likely candidate is a jeweller, but the symmetrical flowers are quite often found as decorative washers on object such as weapons and armour, so perhaps an armourer or gunsmith.
Despite the inconclusive summary, the item remains an intriguing and decorative object, capable of sparking a interesting depate.