Pre-Columbian, Peru (North Coast), Moche Culture, ca. 100 to 700 CE. A fierce hammered 10K gold-copper alloy disc depicting a stylized jaguar face, heart-shaped, with round eyes and a mouth full of fierce, openwork teeth. Four piercings, two each through top and bottom, allowed this disc to be sewn onto a tunic or otherwise worn. Moche artisans created feline imagery over and over again, with the focus often being the animals' faces and in particular their mouths full of sharp teeth. The Moche, like other Peruvian cultures, associated felines with military, religious, and political leaders; the animals' method of attacking the head of its prey was also a symbol for decapitation in a culture that revered the taking of trophy heads. Size: 4" W x 4" H (10.2 cm x 10.2 cm); 5.4" H (13.7 cm) on included custom stand. 43.5 grams.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex H. J. Westermann collection, Germany, collected from 1960-70
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Some light encrustation in the lower profile areas, otherwise excellent.