Native American, central North America, Ohio, Hopewell Indians, ca. 100 BCE to 500 CE. An exceedingly-rare group of ornaments formed from extremely-delicate sheets of copper foil and decorated with repousse details. Five tubular beads have slender profiles formed by wrapping a small copper sheet around a thin mold, and a small pair of feathers have minute attachment piercings on the smaller ends. Two larger feathers each feature dozens of petite ridges indicative of individual barbs. The largest applique is oblong in form and exhibits abstract monocular birds, each with a large aquiline beak above a small ball, and all surrounding a central orb. Ornamentation like these examples were perhaps used to adorn necklaces, various bodily decorations, and elaborate headdresses. Thick layers of brown patina envelop each component, though scattered areas of blue-green, green, and azurite patina are visible. Custom fabric-lined display case included. Size of largest (birds): 5.75" W x 3.8" H (14.6 cm x 9.7 cm); size (frame): 12" W x 17.8" H (30.5 cm x 45.2 cm).
For additional information on the Hopewell Indians and their use of stone and copper in their artistic creations, please see The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. "Hopewell (1-400 A.D.)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000-. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/hope/hd_hope.htm)
Provenance: private Pennsylvania, USA collection
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Losses, nicks, and bending commensurate with age and fragility as shown. Softening to some repousse details, light encrustations, and losses to peripheries of tube beads and some appliques. Light earthen deposits and nice brown patina throughout. Scattered areas of green, blue-green, and azurite patina visible.