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S/1467 19th Century Ash Bismar

An ash bismar (a type of steelyard) for weighing wool or silk. It would be balanced on a fulcrum and the steel inset pins determine the weight of the wool or silk. According to Pinto it lent itself to cheating to such an extent that in 1450 the Archbishop of Canterbury decreed excommunication if anyone possessed it. It continued being used in The Orkney and Shetland Isles until a century ago, and was also used through Scandinavia and across Russia to the far East.

Sold 30 in. (76 cm.) Wide
Scandinavian Circa 1840