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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Antiquities by Type| ▸ |Weights and Scales||View Options:  |  |  |   

Weights and Scales

Weights are among the more common objects of the ancient and medieval world. Weights and a balance were essential for measuring quantities of many commodities and for evaluating coins. Probably the most common class of weights are those for evaluating coins. Balance weights were made of metal (most often bronze or lead), glass, or stone. If the mass of any small solid object conforms to an appropriate weight unit, it is likely to be a balance weight. Many excavated weights have been wrongly identified as game pieces or tokens.


Egyptian, Limestone Phallic Weight, Middle Kingdom, XII Dynasty, 1991 - 1786 B.C.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.

Ex Khayat collection.
AM33388. Weight; Egyptian Art and Artifacts, Summer 1980 by Alex G. Malloy 109; cf. Petrie Weights and Measures 919, Choice, 40 x 60 mm, carved white limestone, phallic with flat back; very rare; SOLD


Roman, Bronze Scales, 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

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Ex Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia, Rome de-acquisition, c. 1950’s; ex Ran Ryan, Rome 1974; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy. Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia was founded in 1889 in the Villa Giulia, or Villa di Papa Giulio (Pope Julius), built in Rome in the mid-16th century for Pope Julius III. Today the museum is principally devoted to antiquities of the pre-Roman period, from ancient Umbria, Latium, and southern Etruria. In the 1950's the museum sold some of its later Roman antiquities to Rex Ryan, an antiquities dealer who had a shop in Rome. Alex Malloy, a retired dealer in antiquities for 40 years, purchased a group of these antiquities, including this piece, from Rex Ryan, in 1974.
AI36111. Bronze scales; cf. Vienne 500; dual hooks at each end; 2 ½ inches; a very interesting piece, Choice, SOLD


Byzantine Bronze Weight, 10th - 11th Century A.D.

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BZ58233. Byzantine bronze weight; cut square, 13.7mm x 14.1mm, 4.270 g; perhaps used for the minimum acceptable weight for a solidus, obverse bearded bust of Christ facing; reverse facing crowned busts of the emperor, on left wearing a loros, and his son, holding labarum between them; SOLD


Byzantine, Bronze 12 Sided Weight, 6th - 8th Century A.D.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.

AI36110. Bronze weight, cf. Hendin Weights p. 225; each side decorated with multiple dots in the center, surrounded by additional dots and lines of four dots, Choice, weight 59.288 g, maximum diameter 26.2 mm, SOLD


Mediterranean Area, Lead and Bronze Scallop Weight, c. 4th Century B.C. - 2nd Century A.D.

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Hendin lists several such shell-shaped weights. They are found throughout the Mediterranean Area. This bronze shell was filled with lead
AS75675. Cast weight, Hendin Weights 276, Manns-Kloetzli p. 22, 37; Alvarez-Burgos P29; bronze jacket lead weight molded from scallop shell, VF, weight 57.291 g, maximum diameter 30.8 mm, 4th century B.C. - 2nd century A.D.; SOLD


Mediterranean Region, Lead Shell Weight, 1/9 Libra, c. 4th Century B.C. - 2nd Century A.D.

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Hendin lists several such shell-shaped weights. They are found throughout the Mediterranean Region.
AS77839. Lead weight, Hendin Weights 276; Manns-Kloetzli p. 22, 37; Alvarez-Burgos P29; scallop shell, 35.606g, 27.4mm long, VF, 4th century B.C. - 2nd century A.D.; SOLD


Bronze Acorn Pendant Weight, 1/4 Solidus, Central Italy, c. 350 - 250 B.C.

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These acorn pendants, and very similar scallop shell pendants, were probably used as weights. They may also have been worn as jewelry, and undoubtedly they were traded, like all small bronze objects, as proto-currency.
AS83617. Bronze weight, Small acorn pendant weight, 1.09g (1/4 solidus), weight 1.0623 g, maximum diameter 16.6 mm, SOLD


Roman, 2 Glass Stamped Disk Weights, c. 4th Century A.D.

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From the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years.

(1) Bust of a winged Victory or Eros left / head of Hercules (face off flan), cf. Corning III 909 - 913 (Victory right).

(2) Bust of female right with hand to breast / head of Hercules right(?), cf. Corning III 951. Reverse described as an irregular oval boss but probably just poorly made. Hercules reverse is common to many of these disk weights.
AA32473. 2 stamped disk weight; both flat round clear green glass with relief images, c. 22 mm (5/8") diameter, SOLD


Late Roman - Byzantine, 3 Scripula Bronze Square Weight, 5th - 6th Century

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BZ70916. Bronze weight, cf. Bendall 61 ff.; Holland, L. "An Unusual Bronze Coin-Weight from Caesarea-Maritima," IAPN p. 94 and pl. 30; 12.7 x 13.2 x 2.5 mm, 2.939 g, rough, clear faces, obverse facing busts of two nimbate, crowned and draped imperial figures, their faces inlaid with silver, inlaid silver letter Γ (3) below; reverse blank; very rare; SOLD


Kyzikos, Mysia, Lead Square Distateron Weight, 2nd - 1st Century B.C.

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AS76263. cf. Rochesnard II, p. 69, first illustration (tuna vice torch); Tekin Bursa 4 (fulmen vice torch); 38.984g, 31x33 mm, rounded corners, bevelled edges, VF, bumps, scrapes, 2 corners chipped, 2nd - 1st century B.C.; obverse torch, KYZI above, ∆IΣ below; reverse blank; SOLD




  




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REFERENCES|

Balog, P. "Islamic Bronze Weights| from Egypt" in JESHO 13 (1970), pp. 235 - 255.
Balog, P. "Poids forts fatimites en plomb" in Revue Belge de Numismatique 105 (1959), pp. 171-88.
Bates, M.L. "Weights" for Encyclopedia of Islamic Archeology (unpublished).
Bendall, S. Byzantine| Weights|, An Introduction. (London, 1996).
Campagnolo, M. & K. Weber. Poids Romano-Byzantins et Byzantins en Alliage Cuivreux Collections du Museée d'Art et d'Histoire - Genéve. (2015).
de Rochesnard, J. Album des poids antiques. (Colombes, no date).
Dieudonné, A. Manuel des poids monétaires. (Paris, 1925).
Dürr, N. Catalogue des poids byzantins. Muséed'Art et d?Histoire de Genève. (Geneva, 1964).
Hendin, D. Ancient Scale Weights| and Pre-Coinage Currency of the Near East. (New York, 2007).
Holland, L. "Islamic Bronze Weights| from Caesarea Maritima" in ANSMN 31 (1986).
Krapivina, V. "Bronze Weights| from Olbia" in Black Sea Studies 1 (Aarhus University Press, 2003), pp. 117 - 130.
Manns, F. Some Weights| of the Hellenistic, Roman and |Byzantine periods: English translation by Godfrey Kloetzli. (Jerusalem, 1984).
Mutz, A. Romische Waagen und Gewichte aus Augst und Kaisaraugst. Augster Museumshefte 6. (Augst, Switzerland, 1983).
Tekin, O. "Ancient and Ottoman Weights in the Collection of Bursa Museum" in Tarhan Armagani. (Istanbul, 2013). pp. 329 - 338.
Tekin, O. Balance weights in the Aegean world, Classical and Hellenistic periods. (Istanbul, 2016).
Weber|, K. Byzantinische Münzgewichte: Materialkorpus Für 1-Nomisma-Gewichte: Studien Zur Vielfalt Der Ausführungsform, Metrologie Und Herstellung. (Solingen, 2009).
Weber|, K. Late Antiquity Weights|. Supplement 16. (Solingen, 2013).
Whitehouse, D. Roman Glass in the Corning Museum of Glass, Volume Three. (Rochester, 1997).

Catalog current as of Wednesday, December 11, 2019.
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Weights & Scales