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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.

Date:

18th/19th century

Artist:

Asante or related Akan-speaking peoples
Ghana
Coastal West Africa

About this artwork

This rectangular gold weight has a surface composition consisting of four vertical raised bars and five horizontal raised bars. Gold weights were used for five centuries, between 1400 and 1900, throughout the Akan area of southern Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire as a tool for weighing the local currency, gold dust. Made of a copper alloy, the gold weights enabled merchants to trade with towns in the West African Sahel and North Africa, and later with the Europeans in the late 15th century. Brass cast gold weights ceased being used at the beginning of the 20th century when gold was replaced by bank notes and coinage. However, they continued to be made for sale to tourists.

–Permanent Collection Object Description

Currently Off View

Arts of Africa

Culture

Asante

Title

Goldweight with a Geometric Design

Origin

Ghana

Date

1700–1899

Medium

Copper alloy

Dimensions

0.9 x 1.7 x 2.4 cm (1/4 x 11/16 x 1 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of the Britt Family Collection

Reference Number

1978.910

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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