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
- Goldweight in the Form of a Geometric Shape
- Copper alloy
- 2.9 x 2.9 x 2.9 cm (1 1/8 x 1 1/8 x 1 1/8 in.)
- Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman