This bronze locking weight weighs 16 pounds and was made in the 17th century in Nuremberg, Germany
Marked on the lid. Entirely complete.
These weights were mostly used for weighing gold and silver coins. A locking weight was designed for easy transport of weights and was essential in commercial transactions.
The idea of nesting weights together dates back to Roman times. Each cup is exactly double the weight of the cup that fits inside it. Only the two smallest cups are the same weight. As a result, each item weighs as much as the cups it contains put together. The weight system was precise and flexible.
In the 17th century, Nuremberg was an imperial free city with a strong economy supported by a substantial middle class. In this middle class, crafts flourished. These craftsmen were regarded as among the best in Europe. At the time, the makers of lockweights in Nuremberg held a monopoly on making these kinds of weights.
The lockweights were embellished in the German Renaissance style with beautiful ornaments in the shape of mermaids, dolphins, seahorses or soldiers. Marks of makers and also calibration marks by calibration masters were stamped on them.
The 17th- and 18th-century locking weights are often samples of great craftsmanship.