The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.
H9429 Opium or gold scales (do'tchin) in case, brass / ivory / wood, maker unknown, China, 1840-1860. Click to enlarge.

A set of Chinese opium or gold scales.

Made
These scales are of interest as they are a reminder of the long history of Chinese settlement in Australia and of the value placed on even very small amounts of gold. Commonly used by Chinese miners and storekeepers at a time when goods were often paid for in gold, they were designed to be highly portable.

Summary

Object No.

H9429

Object Statement

Opium or gold scales (do'tchin) in case, brass / ivory / wood, maker unknown, China, 1840-1860

Physical Description

Opium or gold scales (do'tchin) in case, brass / ivory / wood, maker unknown, China, 1840-1860

A Chinese steelyard scale consisting of a ivory scale rod with a brass pan and weight, all stored in a varnished, wooden, paddle shaped case. The case consists of two halves with the lid attached to the base by a rivet. The lid swivels open to reveal areas that have been hollowed out to fit the rod, weight and pan. The ivory scale rod has black dots marking off the weight scale. The brass pan is joined to the rod with four strings and the detached oval weight is also attached to string.

Production

Made

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs R M Airs, 1978

Acquisition Date

9 October 1978

Cite this Object

Harvard

A set of Chinese opium or gold scales. 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 4 February 2023, <https://ma.as/256733>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/256733 |title=A set of Chinese opium or gold scales. |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=4 February 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}