Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche, ca. 100 to 300 CE. A grand pectoral comprised of 35 shell beads cut and arranged to create a graduated design that is widest at the center. Shells beads have been threaded together with modern stringing through tiny perforations. Set on a wonderful circular stand that angles so as to optimize the display. Shells as well as other beings from the sea were highly symbolic to the ancients of the Andes. Scholars believe that they played a major role in indigenous religious beliefs, and they were oftentimes used to create jewelry and decorative ornaments as symbols of rank. A rare pectoral comprised of matching seashell beads presenting a rich array of creamy white and golden hues. Size: largest shells are ~ 4.5" L x 1" W (11.4 cm x 2.5 cm); pectoral is about 12" in diameter (30.5 cm); stand measures 13" in diameter x 3.5" H (33 cm x 8.9 cm)
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-private Hans Juergen Westermann collection, Germany
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Two beads have fissures that were repaired very well; fissures are nearly invisible. Minute nicks to edges of a few beads. Does not have a tie to secure around the neck. Otherwise excellent. Pectoral is attached to stand via threads, but could be detached.