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Supernatural Being, Pre-Columbian Gold Pendant, Costa Rica, circa 800 to 1500 AD

$29,250

About

Southern Costa Rica or Western Panama, circa 800 to 1500 AD. A very fine example of the goldwork of the Veraguas-Chiriqui-Diquis region. A pendant in Carbonera style of a supernatural being, a composite monster with human torso and feline (probably jaguar) head. The figure is set in a frame decorated with little animal heads, one at each corner. The hands have also turned into animal heads. In place of genitalia is a stylized serpent head suspended by a twisted cord that was supposed to continue across the frame. A minor casting accident prevented it form being attached to the frame. A modern goldsmith would solder in two short lengths of twisted wire, but the ancient goldsmith did not have the equipment to make such repair. A double thread ending in spirals goes across the frame behind the neck of the figure, helping to fill up the frame and avoiding a large empty space. The word "thread" reminds us that the twisted and straight cords were, in the original wax model of the pendant really extruded wax threads, turned into metal by the lost wax (cire perdue) process. The braid pattern on the frame is illusory, just two twisted threads of extruded wax laid side by side. The goldsmith made the toes out of extruded wax thread too, very decorative as well. The piece comes with a certificate of authenticity by Mr. Robert Sonin, 5 May 2006. ref. photo roll 3301. A world renowned expert on Pre-Columbian Artifacts who consulted with major museums, art dealers, conservators, and auction houses, and collaborated with institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History. His notes are on record at the Princeton University Art Museum.   The Diquis culture (sometimes spelled Diquís) was a Pre-Columbian indigenous culture of Costa Rica that flourished from 700 AD to 1530 AD. The word "diquís" means "great waters" or "great river" in the Boruca language. The Diquis formed part of the Greater Chiriqui culture that spanned from southern Costa Rica to Western Panama, they inhabited a nebulous place in archaeological conception due to their positioning below Mesoamerica and above the Andean world. In Pre-Colombian America (America before Christopher Columbus), gold was developed in the context of ritual and regalia, it was transformed into objects for gods and rulers. The earliest evidence for the working of gold in the New World comes from Peru, in South America. The first salient works were personal ornaments such as headdresses, pectorals, necklaces, ear and nose ornaments and the like. These artifacts were found in royal burials of powerful emperors. These works were often transported across great distances and handed down over generations, making them a primary means by which ideas were exchanged between regions and across time. Crucial bearers of meaning, gold was especially susceptible to destruction and transformation; thus these works are rare testaments to the brilliance of ancient American artists. Gold too was closely associated with the supernatural realm. This majestic material was meant to provoke a strong response - perceptually, sensually, and conceptually - to transport the wearer and beholder into new realms. The imagery of these early works speaks to a rich mythological world of snarling, fantastic beasts and other extraordinary beings. Were the jungles of ancient America, filled with such supernatural beasts or was it only a fabrication of the people who inhabited there? In the presence of this golden artifact, we are entranced to a world of mystical shadows and fantastic golden cities. Though that world remains ethereal, this fascinating object seems to tell us of its existence sometime, somewhere.

Details

  • Dimensions
    Height: 3.25 in. (8.26 cm)Width: 2.9 in. (7.37 cm)Depth: 1 in. (2.54 cm)
  • Style
    Pre-Columbian (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    800-1500 AD
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location
    San Pedro Garza Garcia, MX
  • Reference Number
    Seller: CA-0141stDibs: LU3172311329273

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
3.7 / 5
Located in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico
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