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Goldweight Depicting a Fan


19th/mid–20th 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 weights emerged, although abstract weights continued to be made. Although used in economic transactions, the individual pieces could also function symbolically as indicators of wealth when placed on display.
This weight in the form of a fan is part of a series of weights that relate to life in Ghana and the Côte d’Ivoire and depict furniture, cooking equipment, weapons and tools, hunting and agricultural implements, and paraphernalia related to chieftaincy. 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.


Currently Off View


Arts of Africa




Goldweight Depicting a Fan


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


1.3 × 2.3 × 3.8 cm (1/2 × 7/8 × 1 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman

Reference Number


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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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