Two Similar Verre Royal Currencies, Nigeria
Brass, Lost Wax Casting
lengths 10 1/2in (26.7cm) and 10 3/4in (27.3cm)
Private Collection, New York
Eric Robertson Collection, New York, 1978
Private Collection, New York, acquired from the above in 1999
The Verre, neighbors of the Chamba of Northeastern Nigeria (Benue River Valley), have accomplished blacksmiths that produce prestige and utilitarian works in iron and brass for themselves and neighboring groups. "Just as valued as figures were prestigious and expensive ceremonial hoes in brass." (Fardon, 2011: p. 391). Ownership of this pair of hoes was attributed to wealthy and high born Verre dignitaries. The Chamba also prize similar brass objects made by Verre-speaking smiths. In this region, many ancient currency objects were based on hoe forms, a historically important metal tool.