L550xW80mm, China

This is a chinese traditional scale used for measuring light weight items such as gold or herbs.  The scale work by the concept of a lever; the item to be weight on one end and the weight on the other.  The weight is slide along until the scale is balanced and from the markings of on the rod, the weight of the item can be told.  The small red tassels are the points for pivots, changing the pivot points will give provide a different range for the scale.  This is a portable scale with a custom made bamboo casing.  The earliest found scale was dated around 700BC; the unit weight for the scale has been changing since, this scale is based on 16 tael to 1 catty, 1 tael = app 37.8g which is the current unit used for the hong kong wet market.

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