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Goldweight with a Geometric Pattern


18th/19th century


Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
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.
This gold weight is almost a perfect square and displays a gridded diagonal pattern across its surface. In addition to gold weights, other apparatuses used in the time-consuming process of weighing gold included scales, spoons, shovels, storage boxes, and brushes.


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Arts of Africa




Goldweight with a Geometric Pattern


Ghana (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Copper alloy


0.3 × 3.2 × 3.2 cm (1/8 × 1 1/4 × 1 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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