Pre-Columbian, North Coast Peru, Moche, ca. 100 to 400 CE. A very special guardian figure hand-cut, hammered, and modeled from silver-copper alloy sheet. The mask presents a mesmerizing visage comprised of large almond-shaped eyes, a protruding nose, a subtle mouth, and tab-shaped ears adorned by large 'beaded' ear ornaments - this face topped by two 'feather' ornaments. Below is a grand beaded necklace - fit for a figure of importance. The guardian figure's arms and legs are bent in a wonderfully stylized, angular manner. Finally, over the chest is a magnificent ornament - perhaps intended to represent the heart. This ensemble covered a reed and leather sarcophagus for an elite individual. The tiny holes on the peripheries were used for stitching the figure to the sarcophagus. Size: 39" W x 83" H (99.1 cm x 210.8 cm); mask measures 16" W x 11" H (40.6 cm x 27.9 cm)
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Ian Arundel collection, Old Curiosity Cabinet, Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, California, USA, collected in the 1950s and 1960s
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Expected surface wear and nicks to peripheries and high-pointed areas commensurate with age. Hairline cracks on the limbs were repaired. Silver-copper alloy has developed a beautiful patina over the ages. The heavy patina is also encrusted with little seashells.