Bafia Iron Hammer OLD African Currency Potato Masher

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Bafia Iron Hammer OLD African Currency Potato Masher

Bafia Iron Hammer Potato Masher Anvil CurrencyAntique African Art Primitive Tribal Money Cameroon A Fine Old Bafia Iron Hammer - Ensuba "Potato Masher" - Anvil Currency Antique African Art - Traditional Primitive Money - Cameroon Collected from the: Bafia peoples of Cameroon, West Africa Material: Iron, solid Period: 19th century Dimensions: 11.5" height, 3.75" width, 3.25" depth; weight is 6.70 pounds Condition: Exceptional - no damage or repair, extensive use, heavy patination throughout Most often referred to as a 'Bafia hammer' in more recent times. Opitz deems this form an Ensuba or "potato masher" and notes, "A crude club shaped piece of iron was used as money. Thirty ensuba were worth a wife. They are all very old and rare." However, we recently had the priviledge of meeting with the renowned master blacksmith, Tom Joyce, who explained that this is (as pictured in the last photo below) an authentic smith's anvil. The flat surface does have the appearance of a work area or platform and, with consideration given to the hefty weight, we concur that use as an anvil, in addition to currency value, certainly makes sense. In either case, the pieces are certainly considered rare and are not commonly encountered on the market during this last decade. Please to fully appreciate this remarkable old piece!
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