|Title||Asante Goldweight Scale Ghana African Art|
|Type of Object||Scale for Gold|
|Country of Origin||Ghana|
|People||Asante, Ashanti (e)|
|Materials||brass (unknown metal), string|
|Dimensions||Each bowl is 1.75 x 1.75 inches. The bar is 2.5 inches.|
|Overall Condition||Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
|Damage/Repair||some oxidation, dents.|
Additional Information: Brass scale pans vary in size and purpose, shape and decoration. This one has two pans and a long chain.
From the earlier 15th century to the end of the nineteenth century, gold (sika) was the currency of the Asante, Fante, Baule and other Akan peoples of Ghana. They developed a complex system of weighting gold dust using various tools including scale pans like these. Used in trade with European merchants along the Ivory Coast or Islamic traders from the north, gold dust was measured on small scales using small copper, bronze or brass sculpted weights. Pans were among the most essential equipment buyers as well as sellers had in their bag and used in every transaction. Cast in the ‘lost-wax’ technique these pans served to facilitate weighting the gold dust to the scale.The gold dust was measured onto the scale and the pans served to host the gold dust and the weight, to help adjust the amount of the gold dust being sold.
Recommended Reading: Plass's AFRICAN MINIATURES-GOLDWEIGHTS OF THE ASHANTI.