MANILLA CURRENCY, West Africa

MANILLA
11-21

MANILLA
11-21

MANILLA
11-21

 

QUEEN MANILLA
1-5

KING MANILLA 22
SOLD

 

QUEEN MANILLA
6-10

Photographs © Tim Hamill

MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency, West Africa

All of our manillas have been vetted by Dan Mato as authentic, from the 16th - 19th C., probably on the newer rather than older end.

The most common form of metal currency in West Africa was the manilla, a rod with flared ends and bent into a "bracelet" form. Usually made from a copper alloy, forms like these were recognized and used as currency for transactions from the end of the 15th to the mid-20th century. The smaller ones were manufactured in England or France and were used for trade with Africa, including the slave trade. Larger queen and king manillas were more likely to have been forged in Africa, hammered out locally from bar money. The metal content varies from copper to brass, but many were mixed with lead and even iron. There are in addition variations in size, form and quality.

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