- Asante peoples
- Late 19th century
This elaborately worked golden bead was acquired by a British official in the Gold Coast (modern Ghana) in 1884 and may have been part of the royal regalia of Asante ruler Kwaku Dua II. It was made by a member of the royal guild of goldsmiths and cast by the lost-wax process, during which a molten metal is poured into a mold created by a wax model. The “T” design was fashionable during the late 17th century but is rarely found in Asante art collections or contemporary royal regalia.
The regalia of an Asantehene (king) included many other objects made of gold or covered with gold leaf, including stools, chairs, palanquins, state sword ornaments, and linguist staffs. His own body was often covered from head to toe in gold objects.
Roslyn A. Walker, Label text, Arts of Africa, 2015.