Overall: 2.4 x 1.4 x 1.2 cm (15/16 x 9/16 x 1/2 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Hornung 1962.244
Geometric forms were the earliest shapes used for gold weights.
The Asante kingdom (an Akan state in present-day Ghana) primarily derived its wealth and power from its massive gold resources. Since at least 1600, small weights in brass and bronze were used to weigh gold dust and nuggets, which were the local form of currency. The rounded, worn-down edges of this weight suggest that it was used frequently. The royal court had the most elaborate store of weights, while commoners often had about a dozen. Their imagery falls into two broad categories: geometric and representational. The latter often refers to proverbs, which used judiciously, marked a wise person.
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