Pre-Columbian, Central Coast Peru, Moche, ca. 100 to 300 CE. A lovely cast-copper dagger with an elongated body, a pointed tip, and a curved openwork finial depicting an abstract jaguar deity. The feline-form deity holds a tumi in one hand and a small trophy head in the other, has an expressive visage defined by ovoid eyes, a bulbous nose with flared nostrils, a thick tongue hanging from the gaping, fang-filled mouth, and wears an elaborate flying headdress. The rod-form blade boasts several small notches along the corners to allow blood to run down, and the form almost resembles that of a large and intricate ceremonial blood-letter. Fine layers of green and brown patina envelop the composition. A rare find from this early Peruvian culture! Size: 1.875" W x 11.75" H (4.8 cm x 29.8 cm); 11.3" H (28.7 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection
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Repair to head and tongue of deity, with small chips and light adhesive residue along break lines. Minor abrasions to blade and finial, with softening to some finer details, and light encrustations. Light earthen deposits as well as great green and brown patina throughout. Old inventory label on blade.