Seller: tribalvirtu (860) 100% , Location: Mount Arlington, New Jersey, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 192165963982 Fine One of a Kind Ashanti Antique (circa late 1800s), Asante Kuduo Bronze Gold Dust Box with the sculpture on the lid.From the old private collection of the internationally celebrated artist and ardent Africanist.This is a rare, museum quality authentic artifact (circa late 1800s) . The item is about 2 1/2"" high x 3 3/4" in diameter with sculptured crocodile on the lid in excellent antique condition. Gold dust was the medium of exchange in West Africa for hundreds of years. Accordingly, a range of paraphernalia associated with storing, handling and weighing gold dust was developed. This box is one such item. It was used for storing and carrying gold dust. It is cast in the manner of the gold weights used in weighing gold themselves - using the lost wax process. The lid fits in the box and fits tightly, even though it has been cast separately. The lid has been cast with a series of wave patterns. Indeed, the box is similar in appearance to the weights used to measure gold dust. Possibly, this was to divert attention from its contents. But equally, it is possible that such boxes were used as weights themselves. The box has excellent patina and very obvious age from many years of handling. Gold dust was stored in such boxes. It was kept inside the box wound up in a cloth. Spoons were used to ladle the dust from box to scales. And personal weights were used to weigh gold dust which became the currency used to settle everyday transactions. Each party to any transaction would typically use their own weights. The negotiating process not only would include the cost in gold dust of the items being transacted over but also a comparison of weights, debate over the scales used and the purity of the gold dust (gold often was adulterated with brass filings). Even transactions as rudimentary as buying vegetables in a street market necessitated this process. Cast brass gold dust paraphernalia was used by the Akan who occupy a large part of West Africa including parts of Ghana and the Ivory Coast and include many sub-ethnic groups such as the Baule and the Asante. Gold became an important commodity which gave rise to Ghana's old colonial name of the Gold Coast. The region was known as the Gulf of Guinea and in England, a gold coin worth twenty-one shillings became known as a guinea. The Ashanti are known for their skilled & imaginative metalwork, & are prolific in their production of objects known as "gold weights" & various metal boxes, including a variety of lidded containers known as a kuduo. Ashanti gold weights are also named Mbramoo (sing. abramoo). This is an Ashanti gold weight, used in the measuring of gold and gold dust, which was mined and panned in great quantities along the West Coast of Africa, hence the name Gold Coast. Gold was used in the Ashanti kingdom, now known as Ghana, in trading with outsiders, making personal adornments, and as an internal currency.. Ashanti weights such as these have a variety of accoutrements such as boxes, spoons and balances used to hold or measure out gold dust. A full kit would include boxes, spoons, balance and around forty weights; this was known as a futoo and carried wrapped together in cloth. The futoo would then be put into a leather container or wooden box, or if the owner was a wealthy man, a cast-brass kuduo box. These boxes, full of gold dust, could be buried with their owners and dug up again if needed, or hidden in times of trouble. The weight itself is made of bronze or brass, which was obtained through trade in European imports from the late 15th century onwards. Weights were cast using the lost-wax method which is still the best way of preserving fine modeling and detail. Due to the antique/vintage nature of our items, we encourage our buyers to carefully read the description and measurements of the item to avoid any disappointments ,there might be some slight imperfections, most likely they will show flaws consistent with ware, ages, and use which only add character and charm to the items. Each item is described and photographed as accurately as possible. If you have any question about any particular item, please contact me before you purchase, We are more than happy and willing to answer any questions you may have. International Buyers – Please Note: Import duties, taxes, and charges are not included in the item price or shipping cost. These charges are the buyer's responsibility. Please check with your country's customs office to determine what these additional costs will be prior to bidding or buying.