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.
- Object Number:
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
- scales - weighing device
- furnishing and equipment
- measuring device - instrument
- weighing machine
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