HANDHELD WOODEN RUSSIAN ABACUS Circa 1920 - 1970
A delightful vintage HANDHELD WOODEN ABACUS that would add charm to a child’s room or in a retro display.
The small abacus is built on a wooden frame with metal rods holding reddish brown and black beads. The red brick painted frame measures 6 1⁄8” high by 4 ½” wide. The frame shows use and wear to the paint; overall the abacus piece is in good vintage condition.
The abacus was meant to be handheld like a book, so the vertical sides of the frame are slightly curved to allow it to be easily held in the user’s hands.
This is a Russian abacus as it has ten beads on each wire, except one, that has four beads. The row with four beads was used to calculate quarter-ruble fractions. The abacus has a total of eight rows. The number of rows places this abacus after 1916, as a Russian abacus prior to this time had an additional four-bead row.
The abacus may have been used in a school or in a shop. As late as thirty years ago, teachers in the former Soviet Union still used the abacus to teach counting and mathematics and market and shop owners used it to calculate sales.
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