• Code 11370

English Weights. An illustrated Survey

Norman L Biggs. Published by Galata Print Ltd, 2018.  A revised reprint of the 1992 edition which has been out of print, and much sought after, for some time.  Paperback, 80 pages, well illustrated throughout in b&w.  143 x 210mm. ISBN 9781908715128  New

This is the best sort of book, being based on a study of documentary and artefactual evidence - for which the author looked when he began to take an interest in English weights many years ago and could find nothing to satisfy his needs.  It attempts to describe, in a historical context, the major types of weights, and the purposes for which they were used.  It is a user-friendly panoramic view of the subject, the aim of which is to cover all the main types of weights which turn up, and it is hoped that it will enable curators, archaeologists, dealers, auctioneers, and collectors to identify and date many objects for which there is no other readily-available source of information.
The broad categories are:  Apothecaries weights. Bullion weights. Coin-weights used to check the weight of individual coins, especially gold coins.
Trade Weights, used in markets and shops, to check quantities of goods sold by weight
Postal Weights used to check the weight of letters and parcels from 1840 onwards.
Miscellaneous Weights used for a variety of special purposes, such as weighing diamonds, assaying quantities of ore from mines, and ‘proportional’ weighing - that is, weighing using a device which enables large loads to be weighed with small weights.
Local Standards and Inspectors Weights were used to control the weights used in trade and commerce.
A four-page appendix lists non-uniform county and borough verification marks ca 1850, and the local verification numbers ca 1907.

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