Elephant Opium Weight Siam / Laos EOW184


This elephant weight has great form and an attractive, aged patina. Elephant opium weights from Siam and Laos are among the rarest forms of weights found today in Southeast Asia

Availability: In stock

According to Gear*, while elephant weights are found occasionally in Laos, Burma and Yunnan, there is little doubt that the origin of elephant weights was in north-west Siam, the former Lan-Na kingdom of Siam (Thailand) and not Laos, the former Lan Chang. It’s thought that elephant weights made their first appearance in Siam as early as 1581AD. By the 1800s a variety of animal weights were in use and even traded as currency and include birds, snakes, buffalo, rabbits, dogs, horses and monkeys. Elephant weights were cast in Phongsali, northern Laos, and Siam.

It is agreed that the animal weights of Siam and Laos were generally much less accurate than Burmese weights. Genuine elephant weights have a distinctly dark grey/silvery patina. This weight is most likely early 19th century or possibly late18th century.

* Earth to Heaven: The Royal Animal-Shaped Weights of the Burmese Empire Paperback , 2002 by Joan & Donald Gear


Height: 3cm, 1.2 in
Base: 2.5cm, 1 in x 2.2cm, .8 in
Weight: 52 grams
Base lines: 2
Sign: 5 star (left)
Period:  Early 19th C

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