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Goldweight with a Geometric Design

A work made of copper alloy.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of copper alloy.


18th/19th century


Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This small, square gold weight consists of a pattern of four concentric semicircles on its face. It is probable that this weight was made sometime in the 18th or 19th centuries in light of its ornate “wax-thread” design, which was common during that period. Brass and copper weights were used for five centuries—between about 1400 and 1900—as a means to weigh gold mined by the Akan and traded first westward and then across the Sahara to North Africa, and later with the Portuguese and Dutch.


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Arts of Africa




Goldweight with a Geometric Design


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


0.7 × 2 × 2 cm (1/4 × 3/4 × 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Britt Family Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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