HvWO 116

250 year old brass tool for casting twelve bullets (most probably of Dutch origin) There is a good possibility that the mould belonged to the VOC ship Amstelveen wrecked on the coast of Oman in 1763!

Slideshow Tool for casting musket multiple bullets (probably of Dutch origin)

Very rare tool for casting twelve bullets (probably of Dutch origin or alternatively English, confirmed by the Scheepvaart museum Amsterdam) Several almost identical copies were recovered from the ship Hollandia that sunk in 1743 (probably part of its cargo).

There are 4 of these moulds in the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and one in the Scheepvaart Museum  Amsterdam,  all these originate from the wreck of the Amstelveen. These moulds are extremely rare.

As these moulds are extremely rare it is difficult to date them precisely. It is assumed that the iron moulds of this type date from the 17th century and that the Brass /Bronze molds date from the 18th century.  

The wooden handles are missing and the tool has been repaired (a long time ago) with missing brass pin to hold the handle replaced by iron.  32 cm long. 

The Scheepvaart Museum thinks the bullets were intended for a handgun.

 It is possible that the tool was purchased by Omanis from the Dutch. Robert Elgood in his book (Ref 10) page 85 writes:  "In their conflict with the Portuguese in the Indian Ocean the English and the Dutch supplied gunners, cannon and ammunition to the Omanis, who successfully evicted the Portuguese in 1650" However the moulds of the 17th century were of iron.


Bullet mold     Bullet mold     Bullet Mold 18th century      

Antique Bullet mould 

Name: Tool for casting musket multiple bullets (bullet mould / bullet mold)

Period: 1700-1800 (Brass / Bronze bullet molds)

Origin: This tool was purchased in Nizwa in the interior of the Sultanate of Oman (long distance from the sea!)  in the old copper-souq during the 1980´s. There are no makers marks on the tool (maybe still hidden under the oxidation)  to definitely decide whether it is Dutch or English. Both Dutch and British were active in that period in the Persian Gulf e.g. Bandar Abbas.  Bandar Abbas was later leased for several years by Sultan Said bin Sultan. However, there is a high probability that the mould originates from the  Dutch ship Amstelveen stranded on the coast of Oman in 1763  see ref 7! In 2013 new attempts were made to find the wreck of the ship in Oman. Attempts failed due to lack of visibility of the water and project abandoned.

  1. Scheepvaart museum Amsterdam. Object A.4849(16): Kogelgiettang voor dertien musketkogels, gemerkt met XXIII From the ship Hollandia wrecked in 1743. Length 41, 5 cm including the wooden handles. Comment: My tool is nearly identical to this one. The Scheepvaart museum assumes that the bullets were intended for an handgun.
  2. J.P. Puype Jaarverslag 1975 van de Vereniging Nederlands Historisch scheepvaart museum. Aanwinst beschrijving. In the 1975 museum annual the tool recovered from the Hollandia that sunk in 1743 is described in detail
  3. Kogel giettangThe Visser collection arms of the Netherlands  Zwolle 1996. De Giettang staat in Deel 3 Cat 701 pagina 492-493
  4. Kaat Scheerlinck, Militaire metaalvondsten uit het kasteel van 
    Middelburg in Vlaanderen Academiejaar 2015-2016 (00803719)  page 139-148 Een nog  geavanceerder type giettang is gevonden bij Kasteel Middelburg.
  5. Noël Hume 1969, page 221
  6. Hildred et al. 2011, page 30
  7. 2012 Shipwreck & Survival in Oman 1763. The fate of the Amstelveen and thirty Castaways on the south coast of Arabia, based the notes by Cornelis Eyks by Klaas Doornbos 2012 Amsterdam Pallas Publications
  8. Tribute to Oman 1993/1994 Shipwreck "The ongoing quest for the Amstelveen" by Wilhelmina van Rijn page 118-123
  9. Firearms of the Islamic World in the Tareq Rajab Museum Kuwait 1995 New York Tauris Publishers p 85
  10. Nationaal Militair Museum Soest Netherlands  has a similar but a crude and later example "Object 092614: Messing kogelgiettang voor diverse soorten ronde munitiekogels, totaal 17 stuks (1800-1939)
  11. Robert Elgood