Numismatic Books


Burmese Weights and Other Animal-Shaped Weights

SKU: W0004 Category:

This book describes the famous animal-shaped weights of Burma, sometimes misnamed ‘opium weights’. Described are previously unknown weights that first appeared in eleventh century Bagan (Burma), the totemic weights of the Ava kings, and subsequent weights in the form of the duck, fabled hintha, and the leonine chinthe and toe. Burmese kings controlled the production of weights, which remained in use throughout Burma until the end of the nineteenth century. Such weights in animal form could weigh anywhere from a fraction of a gram up to 60 kg. While these weights were vital in commerce, they were iconic for Burmese people. About the Author Rick Willis, is a botanist, born in Canada, known for his works on the chemical interactions of plants (allelopathy), who lives in Melbourne, Australia. Recently, he has concentrated on his long-term interests in Asian art and antiquities. Over 30 years, he has accumulated a vast collection of trade weights from Southeast Asia and India, which have formed the core material for the present work and subsequent books on the weights of India. Greg Herman is a Melbourne-based collector of Burmese weights, who is familiar with South­east Asia. He played a key role with study material and photography, and contributed critically to the manuscript.


Availability: 1 in stock

Weight 1.400 kg
Dimensions 30 × 24 × 3 cm

R.J Willis & G. Herman



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