Sets of scales with weights, Iran, 1801-1900

1801-1900 in Iran

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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.


Object Number:
box, brass, box, glass, box, wood, scales, brass and scales, steel
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

Cite this page


We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.

Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero

Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data


Download catalogue entry as json

View manifest in IIIF viewer

Add to Animal Crossing Art Generator

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.