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A traditional Ashanti Chief’s velvet and giltwood Leopard crown

Ghana, early 20th century


Diam. 17 cm (crown)

H. 27 cm (incl. stand)

An Ashanti Chief’s ceremonial gold and gilt-metal crown and sash

Ghana, early 20th century


Diam. 20 cm (crown)

L. 128 cm (sash)
H. 102 cm (incl. stand)

A splendid Bouelé Chief’s gilt-wood crown and sceptre in the form of a Pith helmet and pipe
Ivory coast, late 19th/early 20th century


H. 13 x L. 33.5 x D. 26 cm (crown)

L. 14 cm (sceptre)
H. 51 cm (incl. stand)


Private collection, Paris

The sash, in gold and gilt-metal on velvet, is completely of traditional Ashanti form. The filigree crown however in our opinion shows clear influence from the Art Nouveau styles in vogue in Europe in the early 20th century.

Rivalry between the Ashanti Kings or Chiefs was, and still is, common in the region. A chief, who before flaunted with a traditional crown, clearly thought the ‘fashionable’ Pith helmet of a European colonialist or visitor would outshine the crown of his neighbouring competitor. Certainly, this gilt wood version, together with a sceptre in the form of a European pipe, did the job. Nowadays, Bouelé people are still seen wearing fashionable designer brand sunglasses, purses, or other accessories, all made of gilt wood.

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