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Scales with weights, Iran, 1801-1900

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This elaborately decorated box contains three separate sets of scales, with a stand. It also contains weights and tweezers of varying sizes which slot into custom-made compartments. These may have been used within the medicine and jewellery trades. Both trades required the precise measurements of goods. The 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.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: measurement

Measurement is the process of estimating the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to some standard (unit of measurement), such as a meter or a kilogram. The act of measuring usually involves using a measuring instrument, such as a ruler, weighing scale, thermometer or speedometer which is calibrated to compare the measured attribute to a measurement unit. Metrology is the scientific study of measurement.

Glossary: scales - weighing device

Instruments for determining the weight of objects or substances.