In September 2009, TMA acquired a set of three gold bracelets formerly owned and worn by a series of Asante queen mothers.
Three Queen’s Bracelets represent a range of expert goldsmithing techniques and symbolism. Regalia has practical, religious, and symbolic functions among the Asante, who today number 1.5 million people. The ostentatious processions that display regalia assure the people that the king keeps the treasury safe and well. Chiefs may wear twenty or more cast gold and gold-leafed ornaments on public occasions, and queen mothers wear the same, from sandals to crowns.
Akan gold has been admired for its technical excellence since the sixteenth century. The quality, workmanship, diversity, and provenance make them particularly attractive additions to the TMA collection.
Acquired as a part-purchase and part-gift from a local collector, Three Queen’s Bracelets will be installed this winter in the Museum’s Art of Africa gallery.