Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 2nd to 3rd century CE. A leaded bronze steelyard weight in the form of a bust of a young male with thick wavy locks framing his cherubic face. Steelyard balances were used to weigh loads by moving a counterweight along the beam until it balanced and then reading the incised numeral. Vitruvius described steelyard weights and their function in his De Architectura, Book X, 3-4. Size: 1.8" W x 3.1" H (4.6 cm x 7.9 cm)
Provenance: K.B. collection, Pontiac, Michigan, USA, acquired from Royal Athena in September 1990; ex-Sotheby's New York, December 1986; on loan to Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University and Fitchburg Art Museum, 1990 to 2016
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Light encrustations within some recessed details, otherwise intact and near-choice. Fabulous green and brown patina as well as smooth surface textures throughout.