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Asante Gold

Ornament made of gold.


© The Trustees of the British Museum

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Department: Africa, Oceania & the Americas

Registration number: Af1900,0427.34

Bibliographic reference
Sheales 2012 1.7

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Object types
pendant (scope note | all objects)

Title (series)
Asante Gold
gold (scope note | all objects)
lost-wax cast (scope note | all objects)
Production place
Made in Asante Region (?) (all objects)
(Africa,Ghana,Asante Region)
Place (findspot)
Excavated/Findspot Royal Palace (?) (scope note | all objects)
(Africa,Ghana,Asante Region,Kumase,Royal Palace (Kumase))
Ethnic group
Associated with Asante (?) (scope note | all objects)
Associated with Baule (?) (all objects)

Hollow lost wax cast in gold of a six-sided bi-facial open-work pendant (suman), the shorter ends of which are pierced for suspension. The flat surfaces on both sides of the pendant have been quartered by the motif of a cross. The cross is in-filled with a series of squares which are sub-divided into four alternating plain and cross-hatched triangles. The areas around the periphery of the cross are also in-filled with cross-hatching the extreme edges are cast in the form of a row of small open-work squares.

Length: 9 centimetres
Width: 4.9 centimetres
Depth: 0.5 centimetres
Weight: 61.7 grammes

Fair. There is crushing damage to both faces at one end and some gold has been lost as a result.

Curator's comments
Ornaments of this sort are associated more closely with Baule rather than Asante art. This may indicate that some sort of contact was maintained between the two peoples after 1730 when the Baule emigrated westwards to their present location.

This pendant or protective charm is worn by a chief next to the skin.

Many areas of the body that were intended to have been openwork but were filled with gold during the casting process.

Associated names
Associated with Asantehene Agyeman Prempeh I (biographical details | all objects)

Acquisition date

Acquisition name
Donated by Gold Coast Government (biographical details | all objects)

Exhibition History
1980 Sept., London, BM, Asante: Kingdom of Gold

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