Skip to Content
Closed now, next open Thursday. Closed now, next open Thursday.

Goldweight in the Form of a Geometric Shape


18th/19th century


Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
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.


Currently Off View


Arts of Africa




Goldweight in the Form of a Geometric Shape


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


1.6 × 4.9 × 5.6 cm (3 × 1 15/16 × 2 3/16 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.

Learn more.

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.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions