An Islamic Glass Coin Weight, ca. 9th - 11th century CE
Mold-pressed, of blue-green glass with two lines of Arabic text in the center.
These objects were for weighing coins, which were traded according to their weight and not according to the numbers printed on them. Glass was a preferable medium since they could be made relatively easily and any chips or alterations were immediately visible to the naked eye. Begun in the Byzantine period, the practice of using glass coin weights continued into the Islamic period. Weights typically included an inscription mentioning its weight, equivalent value, and sometimes the name of the current governor.
Dimensions: Diameter: 7/8 inch (2.2 cm)
Condition: Intact and in excellent condition with no cracks, chips, or breaks.
Provenance: Private Maryland collection of a diplomat, acquired while serving in Egypt between 1949 and 1956, and then by descent.
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