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S/3672 Antique 18th Century Set of Brass Guinea Scales

An interesting set of 18th century self erecting guinea scales by Anthony Wilkinson of Kirkby, near Liverpool, in a hinged mahogany case.

This is a self erecting brass scale known as a Lancashire Gold Balance. The brass beam is rectangular and has a hinged turn, and an awing over weight which counterpoises the beam for the guinea or half-guinea. It has a small rectangular sliding weight on the load arm of the beam, which registers on the graduations, to show discrepancies in the value of under or overweight coins: up to 12 pence light or four fatherings heavy at the then current rate of 2d per grain of gold.

The coin to be weighed was placed on a folding plate suspended by an H shaped hanger. Both the hanger and the support columns have steel anti-friction plates at the end of the hardened steel bushed bearings.

The beam is supported by twin brass columns, which are attached to the hinge of the box, and automatically rise into the working position when the box is opened. The weight end of the beam rests upon a thin brass frame, which is pulled up by a link connecting it to the columns.

The narrow mahogany box has a hinge at one end and a spring button catch at the other end. A paper label of instructions is pasted inside the box. A second label of instruction is inside the lid.

Anthony Wilkinson claimed to be the inventor of this typeof balance and he worked at the Kirkby address from about 1776 to 1785, when he moved to Ormskirk.

Open measurements: 10.25 in. (26 cm.) Long and 2.75 in. (7 cm.) High

5 in. (13.5 cm.) Wide
1 in. (2.5 cm.) Deep
in. (1.25 cm.) High
English Circa 1780