Baule brass necklaces abound but this is the finest example we have seen. All the elements are well cast and some are particularly fine. The round elements cast with fine concentric circles are wafer thin for example. These are said to represent the setting sun.
Such necklace components are cast using the lost wax method, with fine, waxed threads being used to cast the delicate designs on the pieces.
Such necklaces were worn by high-ranking Baule women, though the material culture, jewellery and casting methods and designs of the Baule are closely related to the nearby Akan and Asante peoples.
Similar examples were made in gold but these were reserved for royal household members. Brass examples were permitted to non-royals.
A related though less fine example is illustrated in Fisher (1987, p. 93).
The necklace is particularly wearable in a contemporary setting.
Borel, F., The Splendour of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Thames & Hudson, 1994.
Boyer, A. M., Visions of Africa: Baule, 5 Continents, 2008.
Fisher, A., Africa Adorned, Collins Harvill, 1987.
Leurquin, A., A World of Necklaces: Africa, Asia, Oceania, America from the Ghysels Collection, Skira, 2003.
Sherr Dubin, L., The Worldwide History of Beads, Thames & Hudson, 2009.