Goldweight in the Form of a Geometric Shape

Date:

18th/19th century

Artist:

Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
Ghana
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

Weights for measuring gold dust were made and used throughout Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire for more than five centuries, from about 1400 to 1900. These weights are either figurative or abstract and are usually divided into an early period (c. 1400–1700) and a late period (c. 1700–1900). During the late period, an increased variety and number of figurative and abstract weights emerged, although abstract weights continued to be the most common.
While this weight is relatively simple in its geometry, the flat ends and rounded core create a tension that gives the piece dynamism. Various gold weights continued to be used until around 1900, at which point gold mining was brought under European control and colonial coinage replaced the gold-dust currency.
—Permanent Collection Object Description

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Artist

Asante

Title

Goldweight in the Form of a Geometric Shape

Origin

Ghana

Date

1700–1899

Medium

Copper alloy

Dimensions

2.9 x 2.9 x 2.9 cm (1 1/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman

Reference Number

2007.582

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share