Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Copper-Alloy Balance Weight with Figures in an Architectural Setting

5th–6th century
Copper alloy
3/8 × 1 1/4 × 1 1/4 in., 2.8oz. (1 × 3.1 × 3.1 cm, 80g)
Metalwork-Copper alloy
Credit Line:
Purchase, Christopher C. Grisanti and Suzanne P. Fawbush, and Alastair B. Martin Gifts, 2002
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 301
Symbols and people are often depicted within an architectural setting on Byzantine weights. Under an arcaded ceiling on this three-ounce weight are two imperial bust portraits and a standing figure between them. This figure, partially worn away, is most likely an angel or a winged victory.

In Byzantium, precise measurement of goods was achieved by a set of standard balance weights.
[ Robert Hecht, New York (sold 2002)]
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