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Chief's Gilded Silver ‘Frog’ Ring
Akan or Ashanti People, Ghana
early-mid 20th century
height: 4.4cm, length: 4.5cm, weight: 29g, ring size: P (UK), 7.5 (US)
This extravagant and wearable ring is of gilded (or gold-plated) silver. The bezel is in the shape of a crouching frog with large, languid eyes. The hoop is
decorated with three bands of incised cross-hatching.
Such rings were worn by local Akan or Ashanti (Asante) chiefs and were intended to both dazzle and convey a message to the beholder. Frogs are a
universal symbol of fertility and prosperity on account of their being linked to the west season and rainfall. And so it is likely that this ring was intended to
suggest a linkage to crop planting rites and prosperity.
It is a fine piece of small sculpture. There is wear to the gold plating on the extremities as might be expected but otherwise is in fine, stable and wearable
Cole, H. M. & D. H. Ross, The Arts of Ghana, Regents of the University of California, 1977.
Garrard, T. F., African Gold, Prestel, 2011.
Provenance: UK art market
Inventory no.: 4623 SOLD
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