A large Costa Rican Tumbaga Pendant of a Shaman, International Group, ca. 400 - 900 CE

Object No: PJ2107

$1,500 USD

In the form of a male shaman, with a grotesque mask over his face, his outstretched arms holding a stylized bird in each hand, standing bow-legged (possibly indicative of a dancing pose), wearing spiral ear ornaments, a ceremonial belt, and ankle ornaments, the latter two indicative of his shaman status, a small loop at the top of his head for suspension.

Tumbaga, the gold-copper alloy created throughout Pre-Columbian Meso- and South America, was used to make all types of ceremonial, religious, and funerary objects, including jewelry, amulets, finials, vessels, and weapons. The ratio of gold to copper varied greatly between objects; pieces have been recorded with anywhere between 3 and 97 percent of each metal.  Many objects were created using the lost wax method, and tumbaga was malleable and versatile enough to be hammered, gilded, soldered, welded, plated, hardened, annealed, polished, engraved, embossed, and inlaid, resulting in a wide variety of subjects and styles throughout the ancient Americas.

Dimensions: Height: 2 1/4 inches (5.5 cm), Width: 10.5 inches (27 cm). Mounted for wear with a detachable 20-inch chain of 14K gold.

Condition: Both arms professionally reattached, otherwise complete and in good condition.

Provenance: Private NYC collection, acquired 1950s - 1980s, old collection # 177 in black ink on the back.


 

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