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Antique African Katanga Copper Cross Currency 'Handa' with Custom Black Metal Stand

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Currency has taken many forms throughout African history. This piece and others like it were crafted out of various metals and took on different shapes and sizes. This copper cross was named after the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), an area known for its copper mines. 

Cross currencies first appeared during the 13th century for funerary rituals and continued as a currency in everyday trading in Central Africa until the first coins were issued in the early 1960s. Katanga crosses (also known as Handa) were commonly used because they were unlikely to lose their value over time and they allowed wealth to be stored in a way that was easily transportable.  

Their uneven surface comes from using sand molds to cast the cross-shaped ingots. Overall the surface has a deep copper brown color with an amazing patinated texture originating from its initial manufacture to decades of use and handling. Mounted on a custom, black-gloss, powder coated steel stand; this beautifully aged cross becomes a striking sculptural object. Display it in a residential or commercial space in a variety of interior settings from Wabi Sabi, Mid-Century, Organic Modern to Contemporary.  

Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  

Date of Manufacture: late-19th Century/early-20th Century

Condition: Excellent 

Wear: Consistent with age. Please refer to pictures.

Dimensions:

Currency: 8 in. H X 6.5 in. W X .5 in. D

Base: 8 in. L X 3 in. W X .25 in. H / Total: 9 in. H 

Reference: Lam Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, similar examples can also be found in the permanent collections of the Nasher Museum at Duke University and the University of Michigan Museum of Art. 

Antique African Katanga Copper Cross...

Regular Price
$795.00
Sale Price
$795.00
Regular Price
Sold Out
Unit Price
per 
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