Balances such as this were used by shopkeepers and estate managers for weighing out silver for goods and services that were sold by weight. The drawers were designed to hold the balance weights which, like some of the metal reinforcements on this example, are made in the shape of silver ingots, an auspicious motif signifying wealth.
Balance stands made of precious hardwood were common in large estates where they were necessary to the administration of staff salaries, family allowances, or to pay traveling vendors. With the gradual conversion to coin and paper currencies, balance scales became obsolete and relatively few hardwood examples remain. Completely undecorated, this rare stand is of simple form and beautiful grain.