#1 Thai or Lao weights? by white elefant 30.08.2011 21:23

Any information about these weights?
Standard, age, verification mark...

1 - weight with "snake"-mark, 37 g

2 - weight with "snake"-mark, 37 g

1 - "bowl", 62 g

3 - "bowl", 62 g

Reference: Rolf und Ilse Braun "Opiumgewichte....", page 238, plate 626 (60,5 g)

Bought in Burma.

Your comments are welcome.
Thanks in advance!
#2 Re: Thai weights? by white elefant 21.09.2011 21:02

Some more of these interesting weights:

Set of 3 weights: 12 g, 37 g, 61 g

Set of 3 weights: 12 g, 37 g, 61 g

Bowl with nice patina: 62 g

Bowl with nice patina: 62 g

Bowl with nice patina: 62 g

Small "Bowls": 12 g each

Another one: 61 g

All the bigger weights with same weight mass (about 61 g) even different shape. Small weights with 12 g.
#3 Re: Thai weights? by white elefant 21.09.2011 21:16

A special one (a beautiful gift from friends: Thanks again):

Double "snake": 60 g

Double "snake": 60 g
#4 Re: Thai or Lao weights? by hartmutmollat 21.09.2011 23:54

Hallo White Elephant

The octagonal weights seem to come from Thailand. Since the „snake mark“ appears on weights of different mass it must indicate just „weight“. This mark appeared already on „Pyu“-weights several centuries back. The image shows a hand made „snake“ which resembles to the gha gyi letter of Burma/Myanmar. The masses of ca. 15–37–62- 124 g speak for a sequence of 1–2 ½ – 4 -8.

The bowls in general don't seem to be weights. They are better interpreted as lucky charms referring to the bowls the monks used to collect foodstuff. According to the studies of G.M.M.Houben they have no proper weight system. However, some of them could be used as weights when the mass corresponded to a weight class. Since they were produced by the same craftsmen who made the weights the „classes“ of the bowls may be nothing but different price levels.

#5 Re: Thai or Lao weights? by white elefant 22.09.2011 21:44

Dear Hartmut,
thanks a lot for this interesting information about the "snake" mark already on Pyu weights.
Here Gears "Earth to Heaven", plate 25, page 77:

Pyu weight with "snake"-mark
#6 Joachim Gabel - Lao Weights and the Luang Symbol (Journal of the Siam Society 2009 Vol. 97) by white elefant 12.08.2014 22:40


I just found a very interesting and comprehensive article about the weights of the "old Laos" region (Laos/Shan/Siam), published already 2009 in the Journal of the Siam Society.
Beside summarizing the available informationen, this highly recommended article contains some images of the various weight types ("six groups of 16 different geometric weight shapes...") and a table of the weight masses.

Joachim Gabels article answered many of my questions about the weights of Laos.
Many thanks to Mr. Gabel. It's a pity that this article cannot be found easier.

Best regards

The free download of the article "Lao weights and the Luang symbol" by Joachim Gabel is available at the website of the Siam Society: http://www.siamese-heritage.org/jsspdf/2...LuangSymbol.pdf

a beautiful example of a "pot-shaped weight" (11 g):

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