Pre-Columbian, Bolivia, Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku), ca. 400 to 1100 CE. A pair of pretty hammered silver tupus, the ancient Andean version of a brooch or shawl pin. Each has a zoomorphic form. The taller resembles the head of a bird with a crest or beak rising from the top. The shorter is more froglike, with swirling incised lines on the surface and stamped bulges forming eyes, nose, and a bubbled skin-like texture. Size of largest: 1.3" W x 8.85" H (3.3 cm x 22.5 cm); 9.95" H (25.3 cm) on included custom stand. 40.1 grams total weight of both.
These are still used today to fasten lliqlla, a shawl pinned at the front; pre-Columbian people presumably wore something very similar. With its decorative design - three punched out triangles - and its precious metal - silver - this probably belonged to a high ranking woman like a priestess or princess (women at the highest levels of society would have had gold ones).
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex-Ron Messick collection, New Mexico, USA
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Both have slight bending to form but are overall in excellent condition for their age.