Katanga Cross Currency

c. 1900
W: 7.5" D: 3.0" H: 10.25"
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Like many pieces of traditional African metalwork, this West African spiral sculpture served as a stable form of currency. Used to negotiate major life transactions such as weddings, these currency pieces were also a potent symbol of wealth and power. This sculptural cross is the signature currency of the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, an area renowned for its prosperous copper mines. Cross currencies first appeared during the 13th century and remained a widespread means of exchange for over six hundred years, until the first Katanga coins were issued in 1961. Mounted on a custom steel stand, this beautifully aged cross becomes a striking sculptural object.

Available to ship April 22, 2019. Item will be on display through the New York Botanical Garden Furniture & Antiques Fair 2019.

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