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Home > Auctions > 18th September 2022 > Medieval Steelyard Weight with Heraldic Shields

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LOT 1689

GBP (£) 300 - 400
EUR (€) 340 - 450
USD ($) 330 - 430

£270 (EUR 303; USD 293) (+bp*)


CIRCA 1260-1300 A.D.
2 in. (379 grams, 54 mm high).

A substantial bronze weight for use with a steelyard balance with lead core, spherical in form with pierced flange for suspension above and hatched band to the shoulder; three heater shields with raised heraldic arms spaced equally around the body, etched geometric band of chevrons above.

Found by Adrian Gayler, Essex, UK.
Property of an Essex gentleman.
Accompanied by a copy of the relevant Treasure Hunting Magazine pages where it has been published.

'Well Worth the Weight', Treasure Hunting Magazine, April 2022, p.9.

Cf. Saunders, Peter and Eleanor, Salisbury & South Wiltshire Museum Medieval Catalogue, Part 1, SSWM, 1991, p.48, item 1, for an example displaying the same heraldry; cf. Ward Perkins, J. B., Medieval Catalogue, London Museum Catalogues 7, 1940, p.173, item A2487, pl.XXXVIII, 2, for another example.

These heraldic steelyard weights were made under the official sanction of Richard (son of King Henry III) or Edmund, Duke of Cornwall on behalf of the King; Edmund died in 1300 A.D. and such weights were banned in 1350 so that this example would most likely to be of the period 1260-1300 A.D.; the Hanseatic League was created in Germany to protect the interests and privileges of merchants in the medieval period, starting in Europe and with influence spreading to England from the 13th century.