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Goldweight with a Geometric Pattern


18th/19th century


Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

The relatively complex design of this gold weight consists of two comb-like elements attached to a pair spirals by a central stem. It is almost a perfect square in format. These weights were used to measure gold dust, the local currency in the Akan-speaking regions of southern Ghana and the Côte d’Ivoire between the 15th and the 20th centuries. Made of a copper alloy, the gold weights enabled merchants to carry out trade in towns of the West African Sahel and, prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century, North Africa.


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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


2 × 3.5 × 3.8 cm (3/4 × 1 3/8 × 1 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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