Ornament or Pendant with Antelope
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
In Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, regions that acquired great wealth from the mining and trading of gold, chiefs and other people of status displayed their standing by wearing a profusion of gold ornaments, even attaching such objects to umbrellas and swords. Although many of these ornaments are abstract geometric shapes, some represent human faces or animals, including those shown here depicting a sawfish or antelope. Such works were made using the lost-wax casting method, in which a clay mold was made around a modeled wax form. The mold was then heated and the wax poured out. Finally, molten gold was poured into the mold to create a form in the shape of the original wax model.
Gold, coral beads
late 19th or early 20th century
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carl L. Selden
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Akan. Ornament or Pendant with Antelope, late 19th or early 20th century. Gold, coral beads, 4 x 4 x 4 in. (10.2 x 10.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Carl L. Selden, 80.155. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 80.155_view1_bw.jpg)
overall, 80.155_view1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Gold disk, cast by the lost wax process, with extremely fine concentric lines on top and bottom surfaces. The disk is divided into four quarters by one fairly wide hollow rib and one thin double notched line. The top surface is decorated near the outer edge with two horned quadrupeds in high relief that stand one on either side of the hollow rib. The animals are probably antelopes. In addition, on one side of the rib are two triangular shaped openings; on the other side are two peanut shaped openings. The animals are about 1 1/8 in. high. The outer rim of the disk is formed by a braided design. Two coral beads accompany the ornament and when strung fit at either end of the hollow rib.
Condition: Very good. The disk is not absolutely level and there are casting indentations. Evidence of wear on both ends of hollow tube. One horn of one of the animals is missing. Received with lender's metal coated suspension thread.
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