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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

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.


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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


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

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Gottlieb

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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