Gold of the Akan from the Glassell Collection (Hard Cover)
by Rosemary H. Lambie
Since ancient times, gold has been a highly prized metal throughout the world. In sub-Saharan West Africa, where gold is found in both rivers and fields, the art of the goldsmith has flourished for centuries at the courts of royal chiefs. Still used today, beautifully crafted gold objects are an essential part of African court ceremonies, demonstrating power and prestige, and promoting political unity. The royal courts of the Akan peoples in Ghana are the most spectacular in Africa. Lavish processions and ceremonies relate the history, beliefs and power of the state. Court regalia - including gold jewellery, headdresses, swords and sword ornaments, as well as colourful textiles and umbrellas - are invested with special meaning. These objects all relate to a combination of visual and verbal traditions. The extensive collection of African gold assembled by Alfred C. Glassell, Jr., is considered the finest of its kind anywhere in the world, and was given to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1997. This fascinating and beautifully illustrated book is the first to focus on this extraordinary collection, and brilliantly reveals the ingenuity and creativity of African artists.