excavated out of wells, and is excellent and pure. It is not rough.
I have heard about pure kaolin that flint is bruised to dust. The
Chinese flint is better than the flint of other countries and is said to be as
transparent as crystal.
The flint, after being brayed, is placed into moulds made of buffalo
skins. The flint is stamped with the feet by the workers. The flint, after
being brayed, is kneaded with water, and each labourer stamps it for a
certain period when the responsibility, after a specified period, is passed
on to another worker. Thus the workers rest and work at intervals, but
stamping with feet is not discontinued even for a single moment as, if it
is discontinued, the flint congeals and spoils. As stamping is continued, it
becomes viscous and stretchable. It is then kneaded with the lime of calcined tin. Occasionally cups are made from it. When they become dry,
they are coated with lime inside and outside, and placed in the kiln.
Winal Sabi has said that the best goblets are brought from Yankjuh.
Some knowledgeable persons have also added that, when the making of
the goblets is completed, they are thrown in a reservoir. The water of
this reservoir is agitated with the feet for ten to fifty years and at times
even for hundred years. This practice continues from one generation to
another. These are like glass, and, if they break, they are molten and
Razi brothers say: The best kinds of large goblets are those that are
apricot-like in tinge, transparent, slender and made from the earth that
stretches on excavation and is sharp. This kind is followed by the randi
(polished) and the gilded kinds. The prices of some reach to as much as
I had a friend in Rayy who hailed from Isfahan. He invited me to his
house. I was surprised to see that all the utensils in his house were made
from porcelain. I was amazed at his magnificent taste. The cups, saucers,
pickle jars, salt-cellars, plates, goblets, pots, glasses, even water-spouts,
trays, basins of the bathroom, chandeliers, and articles of light, in fact,
all the articles of this class, were made of porcelain.
The author of the Kitab al-Nukhab writes: "Adhrak is a noble stone,
among those that are from the moulded stones of the Alexandrian times.
It is ancient and beautiful, and pleasing, and in delicacy equals the
ruby." Al-Kindi says that the cast and dyed glass and old adhrak having
reddish colour is like the red ruby in colour. One piece of the stone
costs a thousand dinars as it is no longer made.
Al-Kindi has also written that jewellers made every effort to make
adhrak for the Caliph Mutawwakil. but all that they were able to make