Antique Gilt Bronze and Brass Apothecary/Library Double Scale with Dolphin and Serpent Decoration


This antique double pan gold gilt and bronze scale is embellished with stylized dolphins and serpents. This apothecary/librabry scale was made in the early 1900’s.
This style of scale is called a “pivot balance” because the beam, which is the horizontal lever, is pivoted to allow the arms to rise or fall as weight is placed in the weighing pans.
The weighing pan was originally called a scalepan, which is how balances became known as “scales”.
To use the scale, an object of unknown mass would be placed in one pan. Weights are added to the other pan until the beam is as close to horizontal as possible. Pharmacies would have used a scale like this around the turn of the 20th century. Two circular brass pans are suspended by chains from the stylized dolphin hooks. The hooks are attached to the beam, which is once again a stylized dolphin. At the pivot, there are two snakes rising up to form a caduceus, which is the symbol of medicine and commerce. There is a fluted center column that terminates at the top in another stylized dolphin. The dolphin’s tongue is formed into a hook which suspends the beam and weighing pans. The column is affixed to an irregular shaped base. When not in use, the ten weights are housed in their respective slots, located in the base. The weights range in size from .25 kg to 5 g. This early 20th century scale, complete with its original weights, will serve as a wonderful decorative accessory in any office or place of business.
It measures 24" tall The long arm 14 3/4" the short arm 8 1/2"

Shipping from United States

Processing time

1-3 business days

Estimated shipping times

  • United States : 2 - 3 business days

I'll do my best to meet these shipping estimates, but can't guarantee them. Actual delivery time will depend on the shipping method you choose.

Customs and import taxes

Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I'm not responsible for delays due to customs.

Payment Options

Secure options
  • Accepts Etsy gift cards

Returns & Exchanges

I gladly accept cancellations

Frequently Asked Questions

Are these new items?

All items in my shop are vintage and antique meaning previously owned, loved and used.
I will disclose any condition issues to the best of my ability in the item description and ask that you review pictures and description prior to purchase.
Please contact me - I'll be happy to clarify and answer any questions.

Do you accept returns?

I do not accept returns or apply refunds
Please review item description and pictures prior to purchase or contact me with any questions
I’ll gladly provide any additional
If it is agreed upon between the seller and buyer that an item will be returned,it is the responsibility of the buyer to pay for return shipping. Once the item is received to the seller a refund of the purchase price only will be applied to the buyers account.
I ship quickly -1-3 business days-so I will only except a cancellation within 24 hours of purchase since I will be preparing the item for shipment in order to expedite your purchase

Why are shipping costs so high?

The shipping cost is determined by the postal service which is described below Due to the various sizes and weights of the items in my shop I unfortunately cannot offer free shipping
I utilize the USPS for shipping all packages and have found them to be the most economical and reliable

USPS has discontinued Regional Rate Box prices. This means that this mail class is no longer available
USPS uses Cubic Pricing rates which are determined by package dimensions and distance traveled instead of weight

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