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Copper-alloy pair of scales (no.1)

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posted on 2021-10-27, 17:52 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Pair of bronze scales. The scale-pans are shallow dish-shaped, diam. 3.75cm. The bowl of each is compass scribed (note that each has a bored hole - not through metal - in centre) with 2 concentric rings and, in centre by a quatrefoil of intersecting arcs. The lines very light and faint. The balance arm, length 13.5cm without terminal rings, tapers from the thicker centre to the ends, and then thickens again into a series of plain mouldings terminating in a flat perforated lug through which depends at either end a small split ring. To these rings were attached the threads of the pans which each have three holes in their rims at regular intervals to which the threads were tied. At the top centre of the balance bar is a flat elongated triangular point, and to the base of this is riveted the terminals of the two arms of the vertical member of the balance. This pivots easily on the triangular point. It is 'peg-shaped' with moulded top and pierced lug as before, with another split ring to suspend it by.The whole mechanism is very delicate and beautifully and lovingly made. Certainly a jeweller's scales, for weighing of precious metal, especially gold which is heavy for its bulk. Probably only gold would explain the heavy weights of some of the bronze weights found with these scales, for the area of the pans is very small.The scales and weights M 6926.1-15 and probably also M 6926.16 are stated to have been found by the side of a skeleton (Roach Smith 1854, 12-13). – B.B.


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Catalogue Number

M 6926


copper alloy (Sonia Hawkes Material Notes; bronze) (Antiquarian Material; bronze)

Complete Keyword List (Including Alternatives)

scales (Sonia Hawkes Keyword; scales) (Antiquarian Keyword; scales)




National Museums Liverpool


Mayer Collection

Original Collection


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