written by Timothy F Garrard
Prestel | ISBN 9783791341194
Hardback – 248 pages
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This volume catalogues the impressive gold collection held by the Gold Museum in Cape Town, South Africa. It illustrates and surveys an enormous range of ornamental objects from the Sahel and the central West African forest regions. The pieces date from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and include headdresses, rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings and items of royal regalia. Many are decorated with figurative motifs such as birds, fish and fruit, symbols which refer to local proverbs. Magnificent displays of gold intended as demonstrations of a tribal chief's power and prestige are still worn today in ceremonial occasions. Through his research in the area Timothy Garrard, the world's foremost authority on goldsmith art from the African continent, became acquainted with goldsmith techniques as well as the system of bartering and weighing.His commentary offers a historical and cultural context through which to view the pieces. Affording a starting point for anyone interested in African art, jewellery, decorative arts and fashion, "African Gold" presents African goldwork in all its glory.