Full image caption
Heavy bronze weights were used for weighing with a 'steelyard': they were slid along a balance arm until they counterbalanced the object being weighed. In the late 1200s standard weights decorated with coats of arms were produced. This one has shields with a rampant lion and a double-headed eagle - the arms of Richard, Earl of Cornwall, younger brother of Henry III. Richard was appointed 'King of the Romans' (the Holy Roman Empire of Germany) in 1257, and he adopted the German eagle as his arms. There may be some link with the German merchants of the Hanseatic League, whose London base also became known as the Steelyard.
© Museum of London