Lot 116: 19th C. African Ashanti Gold Weights - Birds (pr)

Artemis Gallery

November 7, 2016
Louisville, CO, US

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Description: Africa, Burkino Faso, Ashanti culture, ca. 19th century CE. A pair of bronze weights, both cast as avian forms, the smaller one with intricately incised wings and a lovely green patina, the larger a water bird with webbed feet, a spiraled beak with a hole for attaching, and a ring around one leg. Weights have been used to measure gold dust since the pre-European 1400s. According to the African Art Museum "The Ashanti are credited, however, with introducing representational art to this genre—so anything depicting a person or animal, post-1700, can rightly be called an Ashanti gold weight." Two lovely examples. Size: larger weight measures 2.75" L x 1.5" H (7 cm x 3.8 cm)

Provenance: Ex-Paul & Louise Bernheimer collection, Cambridge, MA and Laguna Woods, CA.

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Condition Report: Smaller weight shows losses to tail, left foot, and right leg. Large one with small breaks to feet and minor casting flaws. Nevertheless, nice representative examples.
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