Overall Condition: Good. Most of¬†our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. ¬†
Damage/Repair: oxidation, see photos for more details.
These 10 gold dust bowls vary in size and colors. Some appear darker than others due to oxidation.
The small lidded brass box represents an intricate blend of artistry and commerce from centuries past, echoing the era when gold stood at the heart of global trade along the West African Coast. Though not made of gold themselves, these boxes, along with sculpted brass weights, played a pivotal role in the exchange of gold dust, the currency of the Asante, Fante, Baule, and other Akan peoples in Ghana until the late 19th century. Gold, known as "sika," was measured on scales called "nsania" using these finely crafted weights called abrammo. These weights varied from geometric patterns to elaborate figurative designs, cast using the lost-wax technique, serving not only to facilitate trade but also to embody Akan cultural values and proverbs. These boxes were invaluable, providing a secure storage space for gold dust, essential for both sellers and buyers participating in trade.
Provenance: Robert Pearson Collection
Bob Pearson began collecting African art later in his life. He was an engineer, inveterate climber, and long-time collector of books and paintings. Spurred by the Douglas Society at the Denver Museum of Art, and his friendship with noted collector George Heggarty, he began building an enormous, eclectic collection. His African art library grew to several hundred books. He loved textiles and “material culture”-things that had domestic use, like spoons, cups, stools, and chairs, as well as masks and carvings. His collection included items from more than thirty African countries, and his fine eye gave him pieces ranging from a gold dust scale to huge Dogon figural ladders. Africa Direct is honored to have been chosen to sell them.