Description and Notes:
This single turn counterweight folding sovereigns weighing scale is dated to the first half of the nineteenth century based on the following brief history of the maker extracted from the Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851:
c 1804 - 1820
Worked for Wilkinson Anthony
Took over from Wilkinson Anthony
Succeeded by Houghton & Son Stephen
The two instruction sheets pasted on the inside surface of the scale read:
These balance[s] are as accurate as the best of scales;
more expeditious, portable, and not so liable to be out of
order. The Sovereign and Half-Sovereign must draw the
scale to the Lotto and remain there, otherwise they are
short of weight. Before you shut the box turn up the scale.
Current Wts of Gold Coin
Sovereign ....... 5dwt*[. 2 1/2 gr.]
Half-Sovereign .. 2[dwt 1]3 [1/8 gr.]
The turn at the end for a Sovereign:-to the centre
for Half-a-Sovereign, and the slide at the cipher, where
it stops. Every stop nearer the centre is a farthing**
above the currency; the divisions the other way are a
penny each for light gold.
STEPHEN HOUGHTON & SON;
13, Scotland Road,
[L]ATE OF ORMSKIRK.
*A pennyweight (dwt) is a unit of mass which is the same as 24 grains, or approximately 1.555 grams. Obsoleted since 1878.
**A farthing (derived from the Anglo-Saxon feorthing, a fourthling or fourth part) was an English coin worth one quarter of a penny and 1/960 of a pound sterling.