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POUND (2)—(a)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 222 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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POUND (2)—(a) a measure of weight; (b) an English money of account. (a) The English standard unit of weight is the avoirdupois pound of 7000 grains. The earliest weight in the English system was the Saxon pound, subsequently known as the Tower pound, from the old mint pound kept in the Tower of London. The Tower pound weighed 5400 grains and this weight of silver was coined into 240 pence or 20 shillings, hence pound in sense (2) (a pound weight of silver). The pound troy, probably introduced from France, was in use as early as 1415 and was adopted as the legal standard for gold and silver in 1527. The act which abolished the Tower pound (18 Hen. VIII.: the " pounde Troye which exceedeth the pounde Tower in weight iii quarters of the oz.") substituted a pound of 5760 grains, at which the pound troy still remains. There was in use together with the pound troy,. the merchant's pound, weighing 6750 grains, which was established about 1270 for all commodities except gold, silver and medicines, but it was generally superseded by the pound avoirdupois about 1330. There was also in use for a short time another merchant's pound, introduced from France and Germany; this pound weighed 7200 grains. The pound avoirdupois has remained in use continuously since the 14th century, although it may have varied slightly at different periods—the Elizabethan standard was probably 7002 grains. The standard pound troy, placed together with the standard yard in the custody of the clerk of the House of Commons by a resolution of the House of the 2nd of June 1758, was destroyed at , the burning of the houses of parliament in 1834. In 1838 a commission was appointed to consider the restoration of the standards, and in consequence of their report in 1841 the pound avoirdupois of 7000 grains was substituted for the pound troy as the standard. A new standard pound avoirdupois was made under the direction of a committee appointed in 1834 (which reported in 1854), by comparison with authenticated copies of the original standard (see Phil. Trans. 1856). This standard pound was legalized by an act of 1855 (18 & 1g Vict. c. 72). The standard avoirdupois pound is made of platinum, in the form of a cylinder nearly 1.35 in. high and 1.15 in. in diameter. It has a groove or channel round it to enable it to be lifted by means of an ivory fork (for illustration see WEIGHTS AND MEASURES) and is marked " P.S. 1844. T lb." P.S. meaning Parliamentary Standard. It is preserved at the Standards Office, in the custody of the Board of Trade. Copies were also deposited at the Houses of Parliament, the Royal Mint, the Royal Observatory and with the Royal Society. See the Reports of the Standards Commission (6 parts, 1868-1873), especially 3rd report (on the abolition of troy weight) and 5th report (on the business of the Standards Dept. and the condition of the official standards and apparatus; description of the reverification of the various official standards, with diagrams). (b) The English monetary unit is the pound; it was originally a pound weight of silver (hence written for libra, Lat. pound weight), coined into twenty shillings, and is now represented by the gold sovereign (q.v.). The pound Scots was at one time of the same value as the English pound, but through gradual debasement of the coinage was reduced at the accession of James I. to about one-twelfth of the value of the English pound, and was divided into twenty shillings, each about the value of an English penny. The Egyptian pound, written LE, is a gold coin of Too piastres, and was made the monetary unit of the country by a decree of the 14th of November 1885. Its weight is 8.544 grammes of gold 0.875 fine and its value in English standard gold is 1, os. 6+d. The Turkish pound is written T. The Turkish monetary system is dealt with at length under TURKEY: Monetary System. Valuable information from the historical point of view will be found in the Reports of the Standards Commission quoted above, and in H. W. Chisholm's On the Science of Weighing and Measuring (1877) and his Seventh Annual Report as warden of the standards; R. Ruding, Annals of the Coinage (1819) and H. J. Chaney, Our See Sandrart, Acad. nob. art. Pict.; Lettres de Nicolas Poussin Weights and Measures (1897). (T. A. I.) POUSSIN, NICOLAS (1594–1665), French painter, was born at Les Andelys (Eure) in June 1594. Early sketches attracted the notice of Quentin Varin, a local painter, whose pupil Poussin became, till he went to Paris, where he entered the studio of Ferdinand Elle, a Fleming, and then of the Lorrainer L'Allemand. He found French art in a stage of transition: the old apprenticeship system was disturbed, and the academical schools destined to supplant it were not yet established; but, having met Courtois the mathematician, Poussin was fired by the study of his collection of engravings after Italian masters. After two abortive attempts to reach Rome, he fell in with the chevalier Marini at Lyons. Marini employed him on illustrations to his poems, took him into his household, and in 1624 enabled Poussin (who had been detained by commissions in Lyons and Paris) to rejoin him at Rome. There, his patron having died, Poussin fell into great distress. Falling ill he was received into the house of his compatriot Dughet and nursed by his daughter Anna Maria to whom in 1629, Poussin was married. Among his first patrons were Cardinal Barberini, for whom was painted the " Death of Germanicus " (Barberini Palace); Cardinal Omodei, for whom he produced, in 163o, the " Triumphs of Flora " (Louvre); Cardinal de Richelieu, who commissioned a Bacchanal (Louvre) ; Vicenzo Giustiniani, for whom was executed the " Massacre of the Innocents," of which there is a first sketch in the British Museum; Cassiano dal Pozzo, who became the owner of the first series of the " Seven Sacraments " (Belvoir Castle); and Fieart de Chanteloup, with whom in 164o Poussin, at the call of Sublet de Noyers, returned to France. Louis XIII. conferred on him I the title of " first painter in ordinary," and in two years at Paris he produced several pictures for the royal chapels (the " Last Supper," painted for Versailles, now in the Louvre) and eight cartoons for the Gobelins, the series of the " Labours of Hercules " for the Louvre, the " Triumph of Truth " for Cardinal Richelieu (Louvre), and much minor work. In 1643, disgusted by the intrigues of Simon Vouet, Feuquieres and the architect Lemercier, Poussin withdrew to Rome. There, in 1648, he finished for De Chanteloup the second series of the " Seven Sacraments " (Bridgewater Gallery), and also his noble landscape with Diogenes throwing away his Scoop (Louvre); in 1649 he painted the " Vision of St Paul " (Louvre) for the comic poet Scarron, and in 1651 the " Holy Family " (Louvre) for the duke of Crequi. Year by year he continued to produce an enormous variety of works, many of which are included in the list given by Felibien. He died on the 19th of November 1665 and was buried in the church of St Lawrence in Lucina, his wife having predeceased him. The finest collection of Poussin's paintings as well as of his drawings is possessed by the Louvre; but, besides the pictures in the National Gallery and at Dulwich, England possesses several of his most considerable works: The " Triumph of Pan " is at Baisildon (Berkshire), and his great allegorical painting of the " Arts " at Knowsley. At Rome, in the Colonna and Valentini Palaces, are notable works by him, and one of the private apartments of Prince Doria is decorated by a great series of landscapes in distemper. Through-out his life he stood aloof from the popular movement of his native school. French art in his day was purely decorative, but in Poussin we find a survival of the impulses of the Renaissance coupled with conscious reference -to classic work as the standard of excellence. In general we see his paintings at a great disadvantage, for the colour, even of the best preserved, has changed in parts, so that the keeping is disturbed; and the noble construction of his designs can be better seen in engravings than in the original. Amongst the many who have reproduced his works Audran, Claudine Stella, Picart and Pesne are the most successful. Poussin left no children, but he adopted as his son Gaspar Dughet (Gasparo Duche), his wife's brother, who took the name of Poussin. GASPAR POUSSIN (1613–1675) devoted himself to landscape painting and rendered admirably the severer beauties of the Roman Campagna; a noteworthy series of works in tempera representing various sites near Rome is to be seen in the Colonna Palace; but one of his finest easel-pictures, the " Sacrifice of Abraham," formerly the property of the Colonna, is now, with other works by the same painter, in the National Gallery, London. The frescoes executed by Gaspar Poussin in S. Martino di Monti are in a bad state of preservation. The Louvre does not possess a single work by his hand. Gaspar died at Rome on the 27th of May 1675. (Paris, 1824) ; Felibien, Entretiens ; Gault de St Germain, Vie de Nicolas Poussin (18o6); D'Argenville, Abrege de la vie des peintres; Bouchitte, Poussin et son suvre (1858) ; Emilia F. S. Pattison (Lady Dilke), Documents inedits, Le Poussin, in L'Art (1882).
End of Article: POUND (2)—(a)

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