**Originally Listed At $700**
Pre-Columbian, found in Venezuela, traded from the Colombian Tairona culture, ca. 10th to 16th century CE. A fascinating example of a "batwing" pectoral, so called because of its resemblance to the flying mammal. The stone is a beautiful banded black and white hardstone with faint brown inclusons. The "wings" widen at their terminals; the "head" is at the upper center, with a trapezoid form with sharply acute corners. Items of this general shape have been found from southern Mexico to Venezuela as well as on some islands in the Caribbean, often found in caches of other stone artifacts buried under floors of houses and temples. Size: 7.1" W x 2" H (18 cm x 5.1 cm); 3.45" H (8.8 cm) on included custom stand.
The Kogi and Ica people, who are direct descendants of the Tairona, wear similar items as rattles, attached to the elbows of dancers. They may have been used similarly in the pre-Columbian era. However, this stone example - like many - lacks any drilled holes for attachment, and so archaeologists have suggested that the stone items were symbolic representations of wooden ornaments, created to be funerary offerings, similar to the ritually cached stone celts also common in this culture.
Provenance: private West Palm Beach, Florida, USA collection, acquired via inheritance from the collection of Louis L. Scher, found in Venezuela during the 1960s and 1970s
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Intact, with a few tiny nicks to peripheries and light surface scratches commensurate with age.