This finely cast Akan gold weight depicts a mother carrying a pot on her head, with a baby on her back. Due to its function as a counter-weight, parts of the object are missing notably one of the arms. Bronze Akan gold weights were made by Akan goldsmiths from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century in a variety of styles, for the purpose of measuring gold dust for the Akan royalty.
Akan gold weights are miniature marvels with the intricacy of their casting. They could also be worn as charms to cure ailments, gifted with dowries of gold dust or sent as pertinent messages. Proverbs depicted in the form of the weight could provide a piece of advice, recall a debt, serve as a warning or token of friendship.
Estimated Period: 18th/19th Century
National Museums Scotland, Gold weights from Ghana
Note: This piece has been reduced from its original price, in most cases more than 50 per cent, to fit in the 'PIECES UNDER £300' category.
(Click on images to enlarge)