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ID number:  BIRRC-D0229
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Title / Object name:  Goldweight
Object type:  Metalwork
Place made:  Africa: Ghana
Culture:  Asante
Materials:  Cast brass
Measurements:  5 x 2 x 2 cm

This object is an Ashanti goldweight, or 'sika abrammoo'. It comprises a square base with a figure of an Ashanti executioner, grasping a sword in one hand and holding a severed head in the other. It was presented to the University of Birmingham by Sister Evelyn Bellamy in 1968.

Goldweights were widely produced by the Ashanti and often represented proverbs relating to man and his societal position. The art of brass casting and metal arts in general flourished due to the large amounts of metal naturally occuring in the region. Metal casting was a skilled and widely practised art until the Ashanti war of 1874, after which most goldsmiths began to produce cheaper trinkets for the newly emerging tourist trade. Sister Evelyn Bellamy was a Methodist Missionary in Ghana and between 1914 and 1943 was headmistress of Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast. The Danford Collection is home to a large number of objects presented by Sister Evelyn Bellamy.

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