QUEEN MANILLA CURRENCY 11-17, 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.


Photographs © Hamill Gallery

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 11, 7" long x 3.75" high x 1.5" wide, $200 West Africa

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 12, 7.5" long x 4" high x 1.5" wide, $200 West Africa

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 13, 7.75" long x 4" high x 2" wide, $200 West Africa

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 14, 7.25" long x 4" high x 1.5" wide, $200 West Africa

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 15, 7.25" long x 3.5" high x 1.5" wide, $200 West Africa

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 16, 8" long x 4" high x 1.5" wide, $200 West Africa

QUEEN MANILLA, "Bracelet" Currency 17, 8" long x 4" high x 1.5" wide, $200 West Africa

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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