Nest of Austrian weights of the 18

^{th}century. Selected by D.E.Smith for his collection to illustrate the ancient, “Problem of Weights”. One example of this problem is given by Claude Bachet as:*What is the least number of weights that can be used on a scale pan to weigh any in*

*tegral number of pounds from*1

*to*40

*inclusive, if the weights can be placed in ei*

*ther of the scale pans?*

This particular set of weights is elaborately decorated and is one of the best specimens of the weight maker’s art of the period. It bears at least ten official seals, one of which contains the date 1787.

Austran weights

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