Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Art Piece of The Day

Pera Museum

Anatolian Weights and Measures

Money Changer’s Pocket Balance Set
(17th Century - 19th Century)

The balance has three arms used for checking the weight of three different denominations of coins. Its carved with bird’s eye motifs. Pocket scales, which possibly emerged for the first time during the Roman period, were commonly used in Byzantine, as well as in the Ottoman and the contemporaneous Western civilizations. Coin-inspection weights, or, alternatively, the more practical pocket scales with fixed or adjustable weights were used to determine if coins made of precious metals corresponded with the standard measures. Although they were based on the steelyard system, due to their small size, which allowed them to be easily carried in the pocket, these devices were often referred to as “pocket scales.”