galerie Cecile Kernertribalworld

akan geometric  goldweights

akan geometric goldweights

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Directory: Antiques: Regional Art: African: Pre 1900: Item # 1441578
galerie Cecile Kerner
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14,rue des minimes Brussels 1000

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geometric gold weight akan from Haffner first embassador of durable development from common market .went to africa in the seventies .collection selected by his friend timothy garrardbetween 5,5 x 1 cms 3 x3 cms to 2 x 2 cms for centuries, peoples throughout West Africa, the Sudan, and beyond the Sahara Desert have created precious objects from gold dust obtained in mines controlled by the Akan kingdoms of present-day Ghana. For the Akan peoples, gold not only brought fabulous prosperity through trade but was also considered the earthly counterpart to the sun and the material embodiment of kra, or life force. To better control and regulate the trade in gold, Akan merchants and rulers developed brass weights called abrammuo (sing. mrammuo) that set standard units of measure. While the earliest weights were cast in geometric forms that reflected the gold trade's intimate links to North African Islam, later examples displayed figurative imagery inspired by the great wealth of Akan proverbs.Akan people produced gold weights like these in Ghana from around 1400 to 1900. Made from imported European brass, these weights represented units and could be adjusted with drops of solder or copper plugs. They were used to measure gold-dust, the currency of the region at the time. Units of gold dust were weighed out for all transactions, from the smallest market sale to the largest state enterprise. raders carried many weights and most families would also have a collection that could be passed down as heirlooms. The gold weight would sit on one side of a pair of scales and gold-dust would be scooped onto the other with a brass spoon. The weights and scales would be part of a larger gold weighing set.Impurities were removed with blow pans of hammered brass and the quality of gold nuggets would be tested with a touchstone. Gold dust was kept in a twist of cloth inside a brass box for everyday use and sometimes stored in large, elaborate brass containers called kuduo.The wealth and prosperity generated by the gold trade led to the emergence of the Asante Kingdom in the eighteenth century. Following the Anglo–Asante trade treaty agreed in 1817, the British mounted a military campaign to gain control of trade routes. In 1896, they annexed the region and abolished gold-dust as a currency, replacing it with the British pound sterling. Combined with the gradual decline of the ancient gold trade, this marked the end of the large-scale production of gold weights. No longer needed for everyday use, huge numbers of weights were sold and brought back to Europe. PayPal