Democratic Republic of Congo, mid - late 19th century
This striking currency form was created by the skill and creativity of the Topoke blacksmiths. They created the form by welding two pieces of iron plates. Once they obtained the desired form, they incised a pattern on both sides, finally finishing the piece with a cylindrical extension that could be used to insert a wooden pole, or in our case, the custom made base. Alternately, they would bury the base in the ground and have the form stand independently. This incredible form was a very prized piece and was in use as currency through the 1920's.
Even in the early 1900's, this currency was a rare find and is even more so now, over one hundred years later.