This finely cast Akan gold weight in the shape of a crab claw, has been ‘cast from life’ by an Akan goldsmith. 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.
Gold weights 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, Goldweights from Ghana