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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: Af1900,0427.33

Bibliographic reference
Sheales 2012 1.6

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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 casting in gold of a uni-facial pendant of unusual geometric form and embellished with open-work decoration. The long sides of the pendant have been shaped into two sets of parallel U-shaped recesses, which leave three sets of distinct parallel and symmetrical points. The centre has a plain raised conical boss that is surrounded by a solid concentric circle decorated with nine lobes. A cross-shape extends outwards and each of the arms also has a single raised plain conical boss towards the tip. The body of the cross is decorated with open- work patterns and cross-hatching which is bordered by an open work zig-zag band. A further plain border extends around the periphery of the pendant. Two holes have been cast into the sides to allow for suspension.

Length: 7.6 centimetres
Width: 8.5 centimetres
Weight: 37.64 grammes
Depth: 0.5 centimetres

Fair. One corner is missing and a large tear extends across the face of the pendant.

Curator's comments
Pectorals in this form appear to have been worn by akra (personal servants of the Asantehene) although fewer of them are known.

The shape may be based on a shield or another form of protexctive amulet-type.

Many of the areas intended to be openwork have been filled with gold and the reverse shows traces of red clay adhering to indented areas. On the undamaged side of the casting traces of a sprue can be seen at the bottom of the two incurved areas.

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)

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