Norman Biggs and Paul Withers. With a foreword by Geoff Egan of the Museum of London. Published by Galata Print Ltd., Llanfyllin, Powys, Wales, 2000. PB (glossy card covers) 72 pages. Fully illustrated throughout with good b&w photographs. A4 format (210 x 293mm approx 8.25 x 11.5 inches) A 4-page separate price guide is included. New.
Lead weights might at first seem to be unconnected with numismatics, but David Rogers the late owner of this collection was a keen numismatist and some of the weights are clearly intended to check the weights of coins or to weigh coins as bullion. A few goldsmiths weights, intended to weigh precious metal are also included. The catalogue provides the background to the use of lead weights, together with a metrological summary. Each section has an introduction summarising the known facts and giving appropriate references.
Lead weights are a relatively common find during excavations, yet they are difficult to categorise, interpret and date. With that difficulty in mind, this catalogue is arranged by type with each section introduced by a discussion of features to look out for.
Lead weights have been widely used in Britain for about 2000 years, but little has been written about them. This collection of some 400 items, 290 of which are detailed and illustrated in the catalogue, was formed by the late David Rogers. At the time it was by far the largest and most important collection yet published, and still remains so. 290 items are arranged, described and illustrated. Among the highlights are : 13 rare pre-Conquest weights with embedded coins, metalwork and amber, 54 shield-shaped weights, 22 early coin and bullion weights, 12 weights stamped by the Plumbers Company of London and 34 weights of the Norwich series. These latter are important because at the time the city of Norwich had a guild system that reflected that of London and the city set up an official standard for East Anglia. They are important in relation to London and are illustrated and dealt with in depth here.
The catalogue has a biography of Dr Rogers and a bibliography of his published writings. The catalogue has become a standard reference work on the subject.