Pearl Grading Sieves
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Sharjah)
Sharjah Maritime Museum / Sharjah Museums Department
Hegira late 13th – early 14th century / AD late 19th – early 20th century
These copper alloy sieves were used to grade pearls into their various sizes. The larger, heavier and more luminous a pearl was, the higher its price.These pearl sieves were known as tus or tasat (sing. Tasa). Carefully graded, they are deep circular vessels, their bases pierced and designed to fit one into the other. According to local sources, sets could consists of between four and 45 units. Traditionally, these pearl sieves were used by the tawwash or sea-going merchant, who carried them in a characteristic cloth bag or dasta, when he visited the pearlers, together with all the other implements of his trade, i.e. portable scales and agate weights, a pearl scoop, and his table for calculating the value of the pearls.
Ulrike al-Khamis "Pearl Grading Sieves" in "Sharing History", Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.sharinghistory.org/database_item.php?id=object;AWE;ua;41;en;N
Prepared by: Ulrike Al-Khamis
MWNF Working Number: UA 042