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Goldweight in geometric shape

Accession Number
1997/1.496

Title
Goldweight in geometric shape

Artist(s)
Akan

Artist Nationality
Akan (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
1900-1985

Medium & Support
brass

Dimensions
13/16 in x 11/16 in x 1/4 in (2 cm x 1.8 cm x 0.7 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. James and Vivian Curtis

Subject matter
This weight is an example of a particular kind of geometric Akan gold weight, in which the weight itself takes on the shape of a particular geometric form (a square, in this case)-- in contrast to the weights where the geometric form is represented as a pattern on a solid or hollowed-out base. In some cases, the sides of flat weights like this represent, in profile, a particular geometric pattern or sign that turns up, in front, on other weights (the one being a projection of the other). The "play" between weights showing the same patterns either in profile or in front suggests a high level of technical mastery on the part of the Akan-speaking brass casters who used to make these weights. Although gold weights have not been made for use in the gold trade since the end of the 19th century, contemporary brass casters in Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire continue to bring high levels of expertise to their art.

Physical Description
Goldweight in the shape of a solid, undecorated square with a zigzag pattern along its edges and small, flat squares at the four corners.

Primary Object Classification
Metalwork

Primary Object Type
goldweight

Collection Area
African

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
geometric motifs
goldweights

& Author Notes

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