Zodiac Tiger Opium Weight Laos EOW128

In the form of a tiger, this 19thC opium weight is from Phongsali, Laos, where animal weights of the zodiac were commonly used to weigh opium cultivated by the Hmong as well as other precious materials. Other animal weights cast in Laos and Siam include the pig, dog, monkey, elephant, bull, horse, rabbit, bird and more. The tiger is particularly sought after by Thais and Chinese.

This tiger opium weight is in excellent condition and is one of the rarer forms found. Zodiac opium weights were often adjusted to match the modified mass unit which varied over time by removing a little alloy from the base of the weight. Laotian and Siamese opium weights were generally less accurate than Burmese weights. The mass scales varied from 11.8 grams to 16.3 grams. In 1826AD the mass unit was reported as 11.8 grams.

Height: 2.9cm, 1.14 in
Base Length: 3.5cm, 1.4 in
Weight: 52 grams
Period:  19th century
Provenance: Phongsali, Laos

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