Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
In Ghana and the Ivory Coast, regions that acquired great wealth from the mining and trading of gold, rulers displayed their status 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. 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, after which molten gold was poured in and solidified in the form of the original wax model.
Gold cast by the lost wax process.
19th or 20th century
2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 in. (6 x 4.5 x 2.5 cm) (show scale)
A. Augustus Healy Fund
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Baule. Pendant Mask, 19th or 20th century. Gold cast by the lost wax process., 2 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 in. (6 x 4.5 x 2.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, A. Augustus Healy Fund, 49.32.1. Creative Commons-BY
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Oval faced with raised triangular nose. Domed eyeballs have center slits and are topped by crimped wire 'glasses'. Eyebrows handled same way, as is the mouth at the base. Hair outlined with twisted and crimped wires ending in numerouse short strands. Three suspension loops on top. CONDITION: very good.
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