About This Artwork

Asante
Ghana

Pectoral Disk (Akrafokonmu or Awisiado), Probably 1920s

Gold and red ochre
19.7 x 19.7 x 2.5 cm (7 3/4 x 7 3/4 x 1 in.)

Irving Dobkin and David Soltker estates; Jane Brill Memorial Fund; Mr. and Mrs. David B. Ross Endowment, 1999.287

Resplendent gold regalia has been a feature of Asante life since the kingdom’s inception in the 18th century. Much of the early power and wealth of the Asante resulted from their control of trade between the coast and the gold fields of modern-day central Ghana. As a result, goldwork developed as an important medium for expressing status in the kingdom. Although goldworking declined in the late 19th century, when British forces exiled the Asante king, Prempeh I, a resurgence in production accompanied his return to Ghana in 1924. The impressive size and artistry of this pectoral disk date it to that period.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Ownership History

Royal treasury of Odeefuo Boa Amponsem III, King of Denkyira (born 1932), Jukwa, Ghana, to 1991; given to Albert Nuamah, Detroit, Mich., by Nana Tuffuor on behalf of the King of Denkyira, 1991 [email from Albert Nuamah, 10/8/2012, in the curatorial file]; sold to the Art Institute, 1999.




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