Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anatolian Weights and Measures - Pera Museum

The Pera Museum in Istanbul has an extraordinary collection of Anatolian Weights and Measures, of which just a few samples are shown here. One of the oldest pieces in the collection is a weight in the form of a sleeping duck from the Neo Assyrian period, 7th century B.C. and made of basalt. Later, in the Babylonian Period, 2nd millenium B.C., weights in a similar form of sleeping ducks are made of bronze.
My favorite weights were made of glass of various colors in the Byzantine Period, 6th-7th century A.D.

The glass weights were evidently the favorite of someone in the later Ottoman Period, as a bracelet was made of these early Islamic glass weights.

In the Roman Period, it was popular to make the Steelyard weights to represent important figures. Here is Hercules, made of bronze-lead.

And here are two empresses and a third fellow, whose details I did not capture. They are made of bronze-lead from the 5th - 6th century A.D.

Spherical weights with ring handles were made during the Ottoman Period, 19th - 20th century, of iron.

And finally, ring shaped weights were made during the Ottoman Period, 1876 - 1910, of brass. These were made at Tophane in Istanbul and were made according to the metric system.

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