Royal weight for weighing gold
  • Royal weight for weighing gold

Royal weight for weighing gold

Baule, Ivory Coast


Height 11 cm

Late 19th, early 20th century, origin Private collection, France

Gold weight, brass, height 11 cm, Ivory Coast origin, late 19th, early 20th century.

The Baule in Côte d'Ivoire and the Antilles in Ghana have a wide variety of weights for measuring gold. Until the end of the last century, these brass figurines were used to weigh gold powder and small nuggets during commercial transactions.

These weights are made from bronze and sometimes from lead or iron, which explains the variations in color. They are made using the lost-wax casting technique, which requires great patience and expertise. A complete set of weights consisted of around 60 pieces, the meaning of which was known only to the owner. He carried them with him at all times, wrapped in a piece of cloth or antelope skin. These weights not only had a weighting function, they also carried meaning. The owner of a series of these weights not only possessed functional objects, but also a representation of what "already existed", to serve as a testimony to subsequent generations.

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Type of product
Type of product
Primitive Art
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A rare treat

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