smørtønde [Danish]

Sometimes, tønde smør, literally, “butter tub.” In Denmark, a unit sometimes of mass and sometimes of capacity used for butter, = 4 fjerdinger = 8 ottinger. It weighed 14 lispund net and 16 lispund gross (including the weight of the barrel), between about 110 and 112 kilograms net weight.

One complication regarding the smørtønde was that when farmers sold their butter in amounts of a quarter smørtønde or less, the smørtønde was considered to be 16 lispund net (see article 9 of the regulation of 1 May 1683). From this point of view, the smørtønde was 16 lispund net and 18 gross. But in the grocery trade, it was always 14 lispund net.

In 1683 the volume of the smørtønde was legally defined as 136 potter, (about 131.65 liters).

An oversize smørtønde of 20 lispund is sometimes mentioned.

Kurt Petersen.
Mål og vægt i Danmark.
Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark: Polyteknisk Forlag, 2002.

Poul Rasmussen.
Mål og vægt.
Dansk Historisk Fællesforenings Håndbøger.
Copenhagen: 1967.

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