PLEASE SEE ALL MY PHOTOGRAPHS WHICH ALSO FORM PART OF MY ITEM DESCRIPTION
These are a very collectable set of portable antique Oertling Laboratory balances or scales - they can be used for scientific purposes or alternatively as assay scales for weighing precious metals or stones. They are English in construction and dates to the end of the 19th century, c 1890. The base of the brass column is signed OERTLING LONDON.
The case is made of a lovely rich mahogany wood - which has been varnished. I would imagine that you might wish to have someone strip of the old varnish and to french polish the outside of the case - as there are some losses to the old varnish commensurate with age. The wood on the interior is nice and clean - and would not need to be touched.
Apart from the little losses to the varnish (mainly confined to the top) - there is also a little split to the rear (photographed) again could be easily restored.
This is a highly collectable set of old scales - and on doing some research have found a pair with a specialist dealer - with a stonking $3,950 price tag on them, and probably not in as nice condition internally as this set - check this out for youself on this link:
I have taken a few photographs of my set on offer here for your inspection.
The box is about 9 inches square and is about 2 1/2 inches deep. It has a lacquered brass beam balance and two tiny suspension pans, which are currently secured in the travelling position. The brass balance column is 5 3/4 inches in height and the balance been is 6 1/2 inches wide. The wire pan hangers are 4 3/4 inches long.
Below the balance are two small drawers with little antique white natural handles. The drawer contains a little knob which s lifts the balance beam. And a little beautiful turned wood case or box with little larger weighing pans inside - just lovely!
The scales are behind glass - with a mahogany frame which slides up to enable you to use the scales. The box lid folds back fully to provide a stable operating platform behind. The box has dove tail joints - and lovely flush brass hinges with Hodge patent marked on them. To keep the case shut tightly when not in use, there are three brass swivel clips at each side and on the top - all brass as well would look much better polished.
The interior covering behind the balance is a cream coloured material - which is quite clean and free from nasty foxing or damp staining which you often find on these antique scales.
A wee bit of history on the company:
Ludwig Oertling was born in Schwerin, a small town 50 miles east of Hamburg, Germany. Not long after his birth, the family moved from this farming region to Berlin. Here the eldest son, Johann August Daniel Oertling (1803-1866), became established as an instrument maker and eventually took in his brother as his apprentice. In his early 20s, Ludwig attended a university in Paris for a brief time before emigrating to London. because the apprenticeship served in Germany, he was able to secure his assistant's position with Makins.
After his association with Makin's, Oertling decided to specialize in the making of balances, and by 1851 was employing five men in his own business. In 10 years the workforce had risen to 12 and the family had moved to new quarters. In the 1860s Oertling formed a partnership with EW Ladd under the name of Ladd and Oertling. By the end of the 1860s the company moved once again to larger quarters.
The Oertling firm added 'Limited' to its name in the early 20th century. After Ludwig's death in 1893, his son Henry ran the company until his death in 1921. The firm was sold to WT Avery in 1925. A joint Company was formed in 1928 with DeGrave & Oertling at one site (Naylor Rd Peckham). One did sales and one did manufacture but both names were put on the scales.
THIS IS A RARE PORTABLE ASSAY BUTTON BALANCE (No. 8690) - and a copy of the catalogue page for this balance taken from the 1891 Oertling catalogue can be seen on page 230 of John Shannon's standard reference book "The Assay Balance".
Beautiful set - a little attention to a re-polish of the outside of the case is all that is required here ...
Please also see my lovely set of weights - also in a fine mahogany case that I am listing this week - they are probably too large for these scales, but do include a nice little selection of gold weights - but certainly are from the same period - and would look fantastic on display in your jewellers or chemist's shop or laboratory. They are really the most lovely crafted set.
I am pricing this set to be sold without reserve - obviously they have a starting price well below the ones featured on the link above - so a potential bargain for you!
I am just going to let this auction run to the end - so I can assure you that I will not be accepting any Buy It Now Offers - these lovely portable Victorian balances will be going to the highest bidder next week.
Have quoted for UK postage - this would be next day special delivery so that they are insured in transit - I could probably post the little boxed weights with this for the same price quoted here. If postage is substantially less than I have quoted here - happy of course to refund any difference.
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I WOULD APPRECIATE PAYMENT WITHIN FOUR DAYS OF THE CLOSE OF ANY AUCTION SO THAT I CAN POST OUT TO YOU PROMPTLY (I WILL ALWAYS SEND YOU NOTIFICATION OF WHEN I POST TO YOU AND ALSO YOUR TRACKING NUMBER FOR RECORDED / AIRSURE ITEMS WHERE APPLICABLE).
SADLY I WOULD HAVE TO OPEN AN UNPAID ITEM DISPUTE IS PAYMENT IS NOT MADE WITHIN FOUR DAYS OF THE END OF AUCTION - SO THAT I AM ABLE TO CLAIM SELLER FEES BACK FROM EBAY FROM NON-PAYERS.
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PLEASE NOTE THAT STANDARD ROYAL MAIL POSTAGE IS NOW INSURED AGAINST LOSS OR DAMAGE UP TO THE VALUE OF ONLY £20. I WOULD RECCOMEND THAT YOU REQUEST THE SIGNED FOR POSTAGE OPTION WHICH HAS INSURANCE UP TO £50 IN THE UK
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Terms of Sale
OF COURSE RETURNS ARE ACCEPTED IF THE ITEM IS NOT AS DESCRIBED IN MY ITEM LISTING, OR IF MY PHOTOGRAPHS DO NOT CLEARLY SHOW ANY DEFECTS OR FLAWS.
THE ITEMS THAT I HAVE LISTED ARE VINTAGE ITEMS AND AS SUCH WILL OCCASIONALLY HAVE MINOR FLAWS COMMENSURATE WITH AGE, AND I HOPE THAT THIS IS MADE CLEAR IN MY LISTINGS.
RETURNS WOULD BE USUALLY AT THE BUYER'S EXPENSE, BUT HAPPY TO DISCUSS ANY ISSUES WITH YOU AMICABLY. I ONLY WISH TO HAVE HAPPY CUSTOMERS AND WILL ALWAYS DISCUSS ANY DISAPPOINTMENTS THAT YOU MAY EXPERIENCE.
I ENDEAVOUR TO LIST ALL DESCRIPTIONS AS ACCURATELY AS POSSIBLE, AND I INCLUDE LOTS OF PHOTOGRAPHS SO THAT YOU CAN SEE AN ITEM OFFERED FOR SALE FROM MANY ANGLES AND TO ALLOW YOU TO ZOOM IN ON SPECIFIC DETAILS. THE PHOTOGRAPHS ALSO FORM PART OF MY DESCRIPTION, SO PLEASE LOOK AT THEM CAREFULLY.
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PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SEE MY EXCELLENT FEEDBACK FROM PREVIOUS HAPPY CUSTOMERS.