Michael Graham-Stewart collection, World Cultures, Africa, Special collections

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Akan gold weight

Michael Graham-Stewart collection

Object connections:

Collection Michael Graham-Stewart collection, World Cultures, Africa, Special collections
User collections Collectables (All) by blueheatwave
Collectables (Africa) by blueheatwave
Gallery locationAtlantic Gallery (Floor plans)

Object details:

Object ID ZBA2450
Description Akan gold weight, in the form of a human figure, his hands bound. The Akan are a group of related peoples who live in central and southern Ghana and the eastern part of Côte d’Ivoire. From the late fourteenth century, when they imported the technique of metal casting from North Africa, the Akan developed a system of weights for measuring gold dust, which was their main currency. By the seventeenth century the Akan also began producing weights that related to European standards based on the ounce. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, gold weights developed as an art form as well as units of measure. They remained in use until the late 1800s. Weights were often made from brass, and represented a wide range of artefacts in use in Akan society. Part of Michael Graham-Stewart slavery collection.
Date made circa 1900

Artist/Maker Unknown
Place made West Africa
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Michael Graham-Stewart Slavery Collection. Acquired with the assistance of the Heritage Lottery Fund
Materials brass
Measurements Overall: 60 mm
  • Akan gold weight (ZBA2450)
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