Fauna-type gold weights - (2281-2432-2446-2746)

Many gold weights represent the wildlife of the Akan region. The pig and the snake were made using the ‘lost wax’ (cire perdue) casting method and are therefore both unique. First a depiction was made from bees wax which was then covered in clay. The clay hardened in a fire and the wax melted and ran out through holes made in the clay. By pouring molten bronze or brass in the empty shell, an exact replica of the original bees wax figure was made which after cooling down and removing the clay was ready for use. The two crab claws were reproduced during a different process known as direct casting. A claw was covered in clay which was baked in a fire. Most of the claw would be destroyed by the fire and the hollow part of the clay mould could then be filled with molten metal. All four gold weights date from the 19th century. Weights and sizes are shown in the last photo. The two crab claws are now in a French collection. The other two items are now also owned by another collector.
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