Detail of the boxed weights and scales

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Detail of the boxed weights and scales

In Georgian and Victorian England high-value coins were made of gold and silver, so people checked that they were receiving coins of the full weight. This was done by weighing them in a small folding balance from which scales were suspended; it was normally kept in a small box. Although many such scales survive with their weights, this one is unusual in retaining the label of the maker, Richard Tucker of Exeter, pasted onto the underside of the lid. This label is shown in the photograph.

Even in the 18th century, specific information about individual craftsmen in a well-documented city like Exeter is often scarce. The label records his workplace below the Ten Cells (almshouses) in Preston Street in the West Quarter and the move of his premises to Back Lane in 1787.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum