Sets of scales with weights, Iran, 1801-1900

Made:
1801-1900 in Iran

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

3 sets of scales with weights and accessories in lacquered wooden box, Iranian, 19th century

This elaborately decorated box contains three sets of equal balance arm scales and weights. Equal balance arm scales suspend two disk shaped pans off either end of a horizontal pole. The weights in either pan must be equal for the pole to remain horizontal.

Ingenious locking mechanisms reveal hidden aspects of the box. A spring-loaded button releases a small removable box containing a tiny set of scales, and removing a delicate pin reveals a hidden mirror. This example of boxed weighing scales dates from 1800s Iran. It was used in the medicine and jewellery trades. Both trades required the precise measurements of goods.

Details

Category:
Pharmacy-ware
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A128419
Materials:
box, brass, box, glass, box, wood, scales, brass and scales, steel
Measurements:
fully opened: 67 mm x 322 mm x 366 mm, 3.26 kg
closed: 90 mm x 322 mm x 188 mm, 3.26 kg
type:
scales - weighing device
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • measuring device - instrument
  • weighing machine
credit:
Putrus