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

Brass-cast weights like this one were produced using the lost-wax technique and used for economic transactions that involved gold. The Akan and Akan-related people traded gold with Islamized merchants from the West African interior and North Africa prior to the arrival of Europeans. Akan artists employed both abstract symbols and figural motifs in these miniature brass castings. It is generally accepted that the designs were intended to communicate a personal or collective meaning. This weight takes an abstract form of a central circle with projecting coiled elements on each axis. One side appears to have a few protuberances missing, perhaps the result of an attempt to balance the scale during an economic trade.
—Permanent Collection Object Description

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Culture

Asante

Title

Goldweight in the Form of a Geometric Shape

Origin

Ghana

Date

1700–1899

Medium

Copper alloy

Dimensions

1.6 x 4.9 x 5.6 cm (5/8 x 1 15/16 x 2 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Muriel Kallis Newman

Reference Number

2007.593

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 .

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