Mässlein or Maesslein [German]

A German unit of dry capacity in the range of 1.1 to 2.3 liters, and bearing a large number of alternative names, including Maessel, Maessle, Maessli, Maesslein, Mässel, Mässle, Mässli. Regarding this term, Doursther remarks

Le maessel et le maesschen, tous deux diminutifs de mass (mesure), sont deux expressions analogues que l'on emploie quelquefois l'aune pour l'autre.

The Maessel and the Maesschen, both diminutives of Mass (measure), are two similar expressions that are sometimes employed one for the other.

This entry deals only with locations where we know the spelling Mässlein was used (although other spellings may also have been used in that location.)


In Switzerland, a unit of dry capacity, A "Bemerkung" in the Konkordat of 1835 says the Mässlein = ¹⁄₁₆ Viertel. The Viertel being 15 liters, the Mässlein  = 937.5 milliliters.

In using the Masslein the Swiss often distinguished between two categories of crops: glatte Fruchte and rauhe Fruchte (literally, smooth and rough fruits). The latter includes oats and legumes and generally was measured with a larger Mässlein; the former other grains and fruits.

Locale Commodity Liters
Diessenhofen   1.143
Frauenfeld wheat 1.545
oats 1.807
St. Gall   1.291
old market Mässlein 1.215
Grisons   1.875
Rapperswil grain 1.298
oats and beans 1.387
Rorschach   1.283
the market Mässlein 1.195
Sargans   2.205
Schaffhausen grain 1.413
oats 1.592
Stein wheat and fruit 1.413
oats 1.174
Werdenberg   1.915
Wyl grains 1.604
oats and beans 1.925


In Bavaria = 1/16 Metze = 2 Dreissiger = 2.316 liters. In cities such as Augsburg and Munich.


In Württemberg, 19ᵗʰ century after 1806, = 2 Ecklein = 8 Viertelen = ¹⁄₁₆ Simri, about 1.385 liters.

In the Grand Duchy of Baden, e.g., Karlsruhe, = 1/10 Sester = 10 Becher or gobelets = 1.5 liters.

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