Scale for Weighing


Sanskriti Museums

Sanskriti Museums
New Delhi, India

This simple scale comprises a wooden stick adorned with cast bronze decorative elements attached to it at both ends. At one end there are bronze pegs from which the object or material to be weighed is suspended. The wooden stick was marked with numbers indicating the measured weight of the object to be weighed. A small, shifting string loop or sling is placed around the stick. After suspending the material to be weighed from the pegs at one end, the string loop is moved on the stick upto the point when balance is struck indicated by the stick attaining exact horizontal position. The weight of the object is indicated by the number on the stick where the loop strikes the exact balance.
This weighing device goes back to atleast the second century of the Christian era as shown in a Buddhist relief panel depicting one of the Jataka stories in which the Bodhisattva is asked to give to a king as much of the flesh of his body as the weight of a pigeon that he wanted to save from being killed by the king.


  • Title: Scale for Weighing
  • Date Created: 1871/1900
  • Location: Central or Western India
  • Physical Dimensions: L 115 cm x B 9.5 cm
  • Rights: Text © Sanskriti Museum of Everyday Art/ Jyotindra Jain
  • Medium: Brass and Wood
  • Period: Late 19th Century

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