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Balance

Ottoman Period
19th century
Bronze-Iron

The two scales attach to the arm of the balance by three rows of metal chain. Both faces of the balance arm are stamped. Inside one of the scales are a tughra (Sultan’s signature) and the number “268”- these stamps inform us that the scales were inspected and verified by the civil servants.

As a means of preventing fraudulence of weights and measures in trade, the Ottoman government made it compulsory that weights and other measuring instruments be inspected and stamped as it can be seen in this particular example. Officials known as muhtesib appointed for inspected weighing and measuring equipment, and if found to be accurate stamped them with the tughra of the reigning sultan.