So how amazing are these beauties? Strong, sculptural, elegant. Their presence commands attention. They’re also as old as several hundred years. While the title of this post might give it away, would you have guessed without this clue that these artifacts were used as currency across Africa once? We’ve been so very lucky to source these genuine artifacts. These were traded once upon a time, especially among agricultural communities in Africa.
Each piece is detailed metalwork created by blacksmiths who hand-forged currency from iron. This makes each one unique. Hardly today’s pocket change, wealth was often proudly displayed in the home when not used for active trading. We’ve been riffing on this idea, by using currency artifacts in creative ways. One of my favourite ways to display the currency as unique door handles on furniture. There’s no way you’re getting a more one-of-a-kind piece than these!
This is a mirrored-topped bar, clad in ostrich skin. We’ve cut a piece of currency in two to create the handles. This gorgeous and sophisticated piece has been hand-bronzed! We used stately over-sized currency as the closures here to balance the dark form from the open white shelves. The currency handles really is
the touch that makes the piece exciting and modern. If you’re not after a custom piece of furniture, you can always display these African currency pieces on table tops or frame them for your wall. You’ll note that some of these currency designs include European influences, an effect of colonisation. It’s so interesting – and I’d argue important – to have pieces with such strong histories and narratives in our home. It reminds us of distant places and times, of personal and collective stories, conflicts and triumphs. For this reason, I especially love these artifacts.