Weighing Scales

Weighing scales were a necessity for Chinese people's daily lives when using sycee. Every person would have to carry one in his or her sleeves or pocket to deal with any sycee based transaction. Because of transactions involved sycee of different sizes, Chinese people had to use more than one scale to deal with sycee of different weights.    

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wpe8.jpg (14711 個位元組)Ws/1   A portable weighing scale with a capacity of 0.8/2 taels (Length: 12.3 cm)


A pan at one side, a weight hung at the other. In the middle, two strings can be served as a balance, the one close to the side of the pan was designed for measuring a weight up to 2 taels, the other one, 8 maces. A rod made of fish bone was engraved with dots which were used as counters for weights. Corresponding to the two balancing strings, there are 2 sets of dots which could be used.     

wpeC.jpg (21842 個位元組)Ws/2   A portable weighing scale with a capacity of 2/5 taels (Length: 35 cm)

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wpe6.jpg (13460 個位元組)Ws/3   A portable weighing scale with a capacity of 0.75/2.5/25 taels

Label: Kuang Tung  (Province), the capital city (Canton), An Lang Street. Made by Chen Shen Tai (Length: 37 cm)


Designed with 3 strings on the rod to be served as balances, having weight settings of 0.75, 2.5 and 25 taels, respectively. Almost all Chinese antique weighing scales had two or three weight settings to weigh various objects in different weight ranges, and one of the weight setting usually would be slightly over 0.72 tael. This was because that the silver coins circulated then, including foreign and native ones, weighed about 0.72 tael each.  The weight setting  facilitated weighing silver coins, as well as sycee. 

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A set of 5 weights weighing 30, 20, 10, 4 and 2 taels, respectively. All are in a shape of Axed Sycee of the  Sung or Yuan Dynasty.  

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