Pre-Columbian, Colombia, Tairona culture, ca. 1200 to 1500 CE. A beautiful tumbaga (alloy of copper and gold) ornament, cast using the lost wax process, with its surface enriched by the depletion method to bring out the golden color of the alloy. The pendant is in the form of a broad-tailed bird, its curved wings spread wide, ornamented with a row of low bubbles along their lower edge. A long-beaked nose with a curl on its upper part and bulging eyes form the bird's face, while sprays of feathers emerge from the sides of the head. The undecorated back has a loop set deep into the hollow interior of the head. The Tairona produced some of the most complex, beautiful gold alloy objects ever made in the New World. This would have been worn by someone powerful in the society, and it may have indicated a clan affiliation or role. Size: 3.1" W x 2.5" H (7.9 cm x 6.4 cm); 2.9" H (7.4 cm) on included custom stand; 24.5 grams
This piece has been has been tested for the presence or absence of particular elements via XRF elemental analysis. A basic 1-page summary of the XRF screening will accompany purchase, identifying each element present in the sample, as well as the quantity of elements present. A more complete analysis detailing historical data / comparisons is available for additional charge – please contact us.
Provenance: private southern California, USA collection, acquired in the 1970s to mid-1980s
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One wing has been repaired. Small losses to top of other wing and to bottom corners of tail feathers. Light deposits and some small areas of green patina on surface.