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.
- Currently Off View
- Arts of Africa
- Goldweight with a Geometric Design
- Copper alloy
- 0.5 × 2 × 2.1 cm (3/16 × 13/16 × 7/8 in.)
- Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gottlieb