Coin Scale
Pic  DC 55

This fascinating pendulum balance was used to weigh gold coins circulating in England during the l8th century. It is marked Anscheutz & Co. No.1524, showing that the firm had already made a considerable quantity. The company was run by Valentine Anscheutz and John Schlaff in Denmark Street, Soho, listed in London trade directories between 1761 and 1781.

The gold coin in doubt - a Johannis, a moidore, a guinea, or one of their subdivisions - was placed in the pincers and weighed in air and water. The instrument was self-indicating so no adjustment was necessary, and two sets of graduations were provided, one for air and the other for water. The division were in units of 6 pence, and for a 18 shilling coin, the difference between air and water was equivalent to one shilling, or in other words, the buoyancy in water was equal to 6 grains.

The scale folds back into the flat mahogany box, which is only l2mm thick, (1/2"). The polished brass pillar and pan contrast nicely with the silver plated quadrant and the royal-blue paper lining in the box. When in use, the lid can be partly closed against the back of the pillar, to prevent the scale falling back.

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