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Core Record

Title Akan pendant mask
Collection Artworld: Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Date 1800-1899 CE
Description This small gold pendant in the form of a mask weighs 52.3 grammes. The gold is twenty-two carats.
Description Source Helen Coleman
Cultural Context Akan
Id Number Current Accession 218
Location Creation Site Ghana
Location Current Repository Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Subject accessory (including regalia), pendant
Measurements 62 x 70 x 25 mm
Credit Line Akan pendant mask. Africa, Ghana: Akan. 19th century. Gold.h. 7.0cm. Acquired 1967. UEA 218.
Context This mask is almost certainly a relic of the second campaign against the Ashanti (or Asante) in 1896 and was probably acquired by Pitt Rivers before 1899. After the third campaign, in 1900, goldsmiths of the subjugated Ashanti and other Akan-speaking peoples turned their attention to the making of copies and trinkets for expatriates.
The hairstyle, in small skein twists, and the facial scars show that the head is not that of an Asante. The setting shows affinity with Baule work. Malcom McLeod notes that it does not resemble documented Asante gold masks, and he suggests that it is a pectoral pendant rather than an ornament to be sewn on to a costume.
The weight is 52.3 grammes. Analysis has shown the gold to be about 22 carats, with possible silver inclusions.
Context Source Margret Carey. In: Steven Hooper (ed.), 1997, Catalogue to the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. University of East Anglia.
Context Title Published Catalogue
Rights Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, Norwich, 2002. All Rights reserved
Work Type mask



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