Rare Victorian German Silver Pocket Telescope Letter Balance

JOHN SHELDON, BIRMINGHAM c1845
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A rare Victorian German silver Pocket Telescope Letter Balance of tubular form, pulling apart at the centre, the body with engine turned decoration, a chequered wafer seal to one end and a bloodstone seal to the other. The scale calibrated in 1/2 ounces up to 3 ounces and 1D to 6D.

In addition to weighing letters, coins can also be check weighed with a sovereign corresponding to SW on the scale.

Stamped: John Sheldon, Birmingham, c1845

The Registered Design for this Balance was entered on 13th May 1845. No: RD27500

Sold - £275.00

Condition
In good condition with no damage or repair and in good working order.
Dimensions
L
68  mm (2.68 inches)
Weight
10.00 Grams (0.32 troy ounces)
Country
England
Stock Code
TRS170613-269
Medium
Silver
Provenance
Up to 1839 postage rates in Great Britain were based upon distance and the number of sheets in the letter. From December 1839 rates were based upon weight only. This reduced the rates and resulted in a substantial increase in the number of letters delivered. From the 82 million in 1839, the figure had doubled in 1840 and by 1847 had quadrupled. This dramatic increase inspired the invention of the pocket postal balances.