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

The relatively complex design of this gold weight consists of two comb-like elements on either end separated by a single diagonal raised line that covers a generous center section, producing separate matrices in which two circular elements are positioned. It is probable that the weight was originally square; however, the edges have been irregularly trimmed off to form a rough hexagon. Gold weights were used to measure gold dust, the local currency in the Akan-speaking regions of southern Ghana and the Ivory Coast between the 15th and the 20th centuries. The gold weights—made of a copper alloy—enabled merchants to carry out trade with towns of the West African Sahel, North Africa and later, with the Portuguese and the Dutch.

–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

0.5 x 2 x 2.1 cm (3/16 x 13/16 x 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gottlieb

Reference Number

1979.4

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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